about the exhibition
From the Ground Up: Stories of Climate Action is a collaboration between Community Action Groups (CAG) Oxfordshire and Arts at the Old Fire Station.
Exploring the back stories of 20 climate action groups and the links between the arts, climate change and environmental sustainability, the exhibition aims to celebrate grassroots community action but also help to link community groups and environmental organisations and artists for mutual benefit.
Over the series of about 18 months, groups honed their stories, worked with story collectors and artists and created a plan for how they would represent their work in this exhibition. The project was process oriented and the outcomes were not predetermined but developed organically, often transformed part way through and eventually grew into the final exhibits you will see on show in the gallery and documented here.
It was important for us that the project would leave a longer term legacy too, both in building relationships between groups and artists and exploring how the arts can be used address difficult and complex issues and how artists can adjust their practice to be more environmentally sustainable.
The exchange of ideas, skills, knowledge and practices was mutually beneficial and we hope will help to inform the work of our network as well as the individual artists we worked with in the years to come.
We are enormously grateful to our funders for generously supporting this project. With thanks to our funders Oxfordshire County Council, Low Carbon Hub, Westmill Solar Cooperative and The National Lottery Community Fund, distributed by Transition Network.
Storytelling Evaluation Methodology
In order to draw out the story of our member groups and see how involvement in grassroots climate action has impacted their lives and their community, we used storytelling as a method of evaluation, training individual network members to work as story collectors and then pairing them with members of other groups to elicit stories and to forge bonds between different groups in our network.
For more information on this method take a look here.