About Earth Arts

Earth Arts is a program created by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA).

AELA is a national not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to increase the understanding and practical implementation of Earth centred law, governance and ethics (or ‘Earth jurisprudence’) in Australia. Earth jurisprudence is a new legal theory and growing social movement.  It proposes that we rethink our legal, political, economic and governance systems so that they support, rather than undermine, the integrity and health of the Earth.

The need for new governance systems has never been greater: as we face a climate changed world and transition away from our destructive reliance of fossil fuels, human societies need to create new ways of working together and nurturing the wider Earth community.

AELA works to build long term systemic change, so that human societies can shift from human centred to Earth centred governance.  Our vision is to create human societies that live within their ecological limits, respect the rights of nature and enjoy productive, sustainable economies that nurture the health of the wider Earth community.

Nurturing the role of creativity in transforming law and governance

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance believes that cultural change is a vital part of building Earth centred law, governance and ethics.

In his book Wild Law, Cormac Cullinan speaks to the necessity of “developing new ‘theories’ of governance to supplant the old”. Artists are well placed to facilitate this ‘re-imagining’ – they have long scouted the fringes, frontiers and forgotten places, in search of possibility. As the artist Mel Chin elucidates “the world is defined by pain and imagination. Pain in its final form is war and torture, and it destroys the capacity for the formation of language, and it unmakes our world. On the inverse side is imagination”.

In Modern times, ‘Art’ has been relegated to the fringes, not as a knowledge source, but as a form of control, a romantic ideal. So it may not seem obvious then, for Art to be represented at a ‘governance roundtable’, but that is precisely where it can help at this juncture of global environmental crisis. Because artists are shape shifters, translators, provocateurs, we are comfortable with the messy, primal and unknown.

If you are a creative and interested in getting involved, sharing your ideas or you’re simply curious about how Earth Jurisprudence links art + governance, we’d love to hear from you – this is an open and emergent space.

For more information, please email – [email protected]

Connect with Earth Arts

Connect with our very active and resourceful Earth Arts Facebook group.

Sign up to our newsletter for bi-monthly emails featuring events, opportunities and artists.

Current Opportunities

For further information about any projects, please email: [email protected]

Further Ways to Engage With AELA Earth Arts

Behind the scenes we’re constantly researching ideas, collaborating across the country and around the world, working with interns and volunteers, and developing new projects in conjunction with AELA members. These are the main areas we focus on and we’d be happy to talk to you about research, consultancy and collaborative opportunities:

Merging arts and Earth laws campaigns
  • Contributing creative practice and knowledge to ongoing work around Eradicating Ecocide; Sharing Law; Earth Democracy; Future Dreaming; the International Rights of Nature Tribunal and other issues.
Research Projects
  • Habitat & Governance – contributing a creative lens to research Earth-centred governance structures and their implementation for bioregional ecosystem health.
  • Other topics are being developed in conjunction with AELA members
Collaborative events
  • Bringing artists, lawyers, scientists and other professions together for creative projects.

Past Events and Projects

Please click on the links to find out more about – and see photos from – the events below:

RONA18 (‘Rights of Nature Australia, 2016’) – around Australia
  • Find out more about RONA18.
  • View the RONA18 Catalogue [coming soon]
RONA16 (‘Rights of Nature Australia, 2016’) – around Australia
  • View the catalogue from our 2016 Arts Program, which was connected to the Peoples Tribunal for the Rights of Nature Australia.
Earth Leaders Lab – July 2014, Bundanon NSW
  • In conjunction with Bundanon Siteworks, AELA worked with De Quincey Co and Lean Productions to run a 1 day workshop that brought people together from the arts, education, law, science and architecture, to explore how our different professional traditions engage with caring for the Earth.  Our National Convenor, Michelle Maloney, also joined a panel facilitated by ABC journalist Robin Williams, and AELA Project Manager Jules Livingstone led workshop discussions with Bundanon participants about Earth laws topics.
Wild Law Art Exhibition – September 2013, Brisbane
  • This art exhibition was created in partnership with Professor Marian Drew and her colleagues and students at the Griffith University College of Art.  It opened in conjunction with AELA’s 2013 Wild Law Conference, titled “Living within our Ecological Limits – Law and Governance for a Finite World”.
Wild Law Arts Incubator – June 2012, Sydney
  • In partnership with De Quincey Co. This workshop was organised by De Quincey Co, to bring Earth lawyers, indigenous community leaders and artists together to explore Earth jurisprudence. AELA’s National Convenor Dr Michelle Maloney gave a talk and led workshop discussions at the event.

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