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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography

Art and Geographical Knowledge explores the relationship between geography and art.

A look at recent publications, conference programs and exhibition titles indicates the growing scope of the inter-relationship between art and geography. As the works in the exhibition and under discussion in the papers makes clear, this relationship between geography and artistic practice has a long history and takes a range of forms as boundaries between geographers, artists and curators blur. Bringing together critics, collaborators, creators and curators the aim is to explore the scope, methods and potential of art as a form of geographical knowledge.


The papers and art works included in the sessions and the exhibition explore the what, why and how of the relationship between geography and art.  In other words:

  • What sorts of geographical knowledge can and have art forms participated in the making of? 
  • What potential do geographers find in art and creative practices?
  • And how – by what mechanisms and methods – does art become part of geographical knowledge making? 

In some cases artistic and creative practices are understood as performative of identities, or of ways of being in and relating to particular landscapes, peoples and places and the environment. 

For others artistic practice offers an alternative mode of geographical knowledge making, offering access to sensory experiences of landscapes, people or places. For a further group artistic modes of research and dissemination practices provide critically creative modes of geographical scholarship and more ‘public’, or ‘political’ geographies.

Art and Geographical Knowledges – which includes four paper sessions at the RGS-IBG  Annual Conference (2009), this website, an on-line exhibition and an artists’ book – has been developed to allow the exploration of the continuing proliferation of modes of engagement between art and geography.

Paper sessions – An Exhibition – An artist’s book
Paper sessions: four themes

  • Sites, processes and methods: An exploration of the geographies of the production and consumption of artistic practices, and the methods through which geographers engage with these practices.
  • Education and Exhibition: An examination of the opportunities developed through exhibitions and the involvement of art within geographical education.
  • Geography, art and social engagement: A critical examination of the political and social potential of ‘creative public geographies’.
  • Other ways of knowing: An engagement with the potential of geographically engaged art practices to explore ‘other’ ways of knowing spaces, places and landscapes.

Geographical Knowledges :  An exhibition

An exhibition mounted on-line, with selected works shown during the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2009, featuring work by artists giving papers at the conference.


An artists’ book created by Annie Lovejoy and Harriet Hawkins to be distributed to delegates during the conference. For a copy email

These pages were written and designed by Dr Harriet Hawkins, School of Geography, University of Exeter, h.hawkins@exeter.ac.uk

The ideas and views represented in the papers / artworks / gallery are those of the artists / geographers, and not necessarily those of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

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