Art and the Rural Imagination - Slow Conference, More Than Ponies


Art and the Rural Imagination is a slow conference presented in partnership with Arts University Bournemouth. The conference explores ‘The Rural’ as a central concern in contemporary artistic practice and debate. Artists today make work in or about rural locations, producing startling visions and radical conceptions of life and space beyond the urban centres. This conference approaches ‘the rural’ by exploring relations between people and places, including the visible and invisible inhabitants that populate or traverse it. What is the lure of ‘the rural imagination’ as a site for alterity or a space of existing power relations? How might critical art discourse and practices reimagine or reinvent the rural for our present moment? 

The New Forest is an area that invokes multiple concerns: the cultural consumption of landscapes, tourism, ecological change, land ownership, access, animal ethics, ecological justice, and more. The conference is part of More than Ponies programme that seeks to reinvigorate the New Forest as a site for contemporary art engagement, discourse and practice. Speakers, participants and presenter information is available via the link: 

The conference will take place across the week of 29 June 2020. Presentations will take place online on the evenings of Monday 29 June, Tuesday 30 June, Wednesday 1 July. A plenary discussion will take place on the morning of Friday 3 July. Recordings will be available for delegates during the conference week on our passworded online platform. The platform will also include artist micro-commissions, featured films and videos, a discussion forum and other content. Sessions will also include breakout network events. 

Tickets are £26.00 and are available to purchase at