Also written by Sarah Thornton
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Sarah Thornton / 5 Aug 2021
Fine Line is a unique global environmental art/science project, which draws a symbolic fine line around the earth and connects 12 ephemeral sculptures.
The culmination of a 25-year commitment, Fine Line showcases these sculptures and how they were created in some of the world’s most remote, elevated locations. Starting and finishing in New Zealand, each connects to the other through a representative line encircling the earth, and alludes to the ‘fine line’ we tread between economic prosperity and ecological disaster.
The project is an artistic evocation of the inter-connectedness and circularity of the web of life, promoting systemic design solutions to climate, ecological and social collapse by learning from living systems. Sir Jonathon Porritt, founder Forum for the Future, described it as “one of the most eloquent projects” he has ever been involved in.
This astounding book is structured around the sculptures and shows where and how they were made. The book describes the intrepid journeys and breath-taking climbs artists Martin Hill and Philippa Jones undertook to create their work. Chronicling their challenges, despair and jubilation, dramatic photographs capture each sculpture at the moment of creation as well as their point on the ‘fine line.’
Each sculpture was made from natural materials found on site – stone, snow, ice, grass – and which would ultimately return (harmlessly) to the environment, mimicking nature’s cyclical processes. Only the photographs remain as an inspiration to “think deeply and change fundamentally.”
Featuring over 200 exceptional photographs and essays by specialists in Systems Theory, climate science, fine art photography and regenerative design, Fine Line elaborates on the underlying ecological design philosophy of two dedicated art practitioners.
“We need to redesign our lives, businesses, and energy use to become regenerative and therefore compatibly with earth’s natural systems on which we totally rely,” says Martin Hill.
Fine Line is an extraordinary artistic achievement and will be featured in forthcoming BBC4 series ‘Nature and Us: A History through Art,’ presented by James Fox and due for release in late 2021.
Hill and Jones met as climbers in 1994 and have enjoyed a strong creative collaboration ever since. Hill’s photographs of their ephemeral sculptures have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, and Europe. Their work has been awarded at Pingyao International Photography Festival China, Arte Laguna Venice, and received a FAPA international award.
MARTIN HILL was born in London and educated at High Wycombe University of Art and Design. He is an award-winning creative director and designer who has worked in London, Nairobi, Sydney and Auckland. He settled in New Zealand in 1974 and became an environmental artist in 1992. He is now based in Wanaka.
PHILIPPA JONES was born in Auckland New Zealand and studied English and Art History at the University of Auckland and Victoria University. She worked as a weaver and writer, has two adult children, and is now based in Wanaka.