Add your reflections on the Shared Space weekend…

By Andrew Raven Trust |

If you have been with us at Ardtornish this weekend 15th-17th June, we hope you have found the discussion on Shared Space a stimulating, enjoyable and enriching experience. The weekend is so quickly past: what if you would like to continue the discussion, or adding your thoughts, reflections and information on the theme?

The weekend interactions and presentations have brought a kaleidascope of perspectives to the theme - ecological, scientific, artistic, social, cultural, philosophical and more...  If this process or any nugget within it has sparked thoughts you'd like to share - reflections, websites, documents or other items - whether immediately or after things have digested in your mind and strike you later, we invite you to add these as a comment to this blog entry (please see the boxes below). These comments will be visible to all visitors to the blog.

Alternatively, please also feel free to email your comments, documents and links to ART, at

You may perhaps also wish to share the ART site with your colleagues and friends, using one of the buttons at the foot of the webpage - Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, email or others, according to your preferred medium of communication. We welcome this, to spread the word about the Andrew Raven Trust.

In due course, we will post a digested, overall write up of the weekend on the weekend's dedicated webpage.

3 comment(s)


Simon Pepper at 5:21pm on Tuesday 26 June 2012

That was another enriching weekend, thank you to all at ART and Ardtornish. The themes of these weekends always get the intellectual juices flowing in fascinating ways, and it becomes more and more difficult to hush people for the next announcement - a very healthy sign. This year, the sharing space theme did the trick again, and we were escorted into all sorts of interesting avenues of thinking by a range of presentations. I found myself looking at a variety of familiar topics through the lens of sharing space, and was especially intrigued by the inspiring examples of initiatives designed to share space better. We also kept noticing how the failures kept rearing their heads. Deer weren’t on the agenda at all, but they kept marauding (so to say) into the shared discussion space (visitors from south were particularly intrigued and kept asking questions about the obvious tensions arising from deer management). And a red deer hind was wandering about on the lawn outside the window during our first discussion, despite the many defences to exclude it from the wonderful garden. It was obviously just making a point about our theme for the weekend, and very eloquently too…..


Jason Pennells at 6:43pm on Wednesday 11 July 2012

From comments I’ve heard from varous participants in the weekend, the theme of ‘Shared Space’ seems to have had many resonances, with different dimensions appealing to different people in different ways. It was a diverse palette.

There was a discussion of the change in the Forestry Commission’s model of managing woodlands on the radio the other day - based round a visit to Thetford Forest in East Anglia. The gist was that there has been a move from economics based predominantly on timber sales to a more diversified economic model, with large component being income from public access for recreation, and also potential earnings from green energy generation (either by fuelling a boiler by thinnings and selling the energy to the grid, or by selling the firewood to the booming wood-burning stove market - apparently most wood sold for this is imported at present).

Traditional woodland management as being beneficial to some species of animal and plants through periodic clearing and disturbance of the ground was also touched onin that programme. It reminded me of the discussions at the foot and mouth epidemic time a few years back, of how the Lake District countryside people are familiar with and like, would change without the sheep.


Simon Murray at 3:19pm on Sunday 15 July 2012

My first experience of Ardtornish and an ART weekend.  I felt lucky and honored to be part of such a remarkable and unusual event and came away energized and provoked by the contributions and the congenial company. I spent the first half of my working life largely in the arena of adult education and particularly within the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) in the West of Scotland and on Tyneside. ‘Shared Space’ resonated strongly with the best and most generative principles and practices of the early adult education movement: an acknowledgment that knowledge, intelligence and expertise resides within all of us; a strong democratic impulse; a generous but never uncritical or unreflective egalitarianism; and an impatience with artificial and counter productive boundaries between disciplines and art forms. The weekend also chimed with Ken Robinson’s passionate commitment to and articulation of creativity and creative thinking as our “only hope” if we are to solve the massive challenges of environmental degeneration and social, economic and political inequality. Furthermore, the reflective, imaginative and always generous register of our ‘Shared Space’ conversations made me rue the current condition of much of university education where such qualities are sadly all too often absent in a crudely and unintelligently instrumental climate. The management of deer in all its complexities now remains central to my thinking – as both metaphor and practice – as I continue to negotiate working life in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow! Thanks ART and all ‘Shared Space’ participants for a very memorable encounter.

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