Conservation Fellow - supported by Amazon Aid
Maisie McNeice is an interdisciplinary artist working in printmaking, drawing and installation. Much of her work has a deep connection with nature and is crafted using foraged natural materials. She makes her own mineral pigments and inks from rocks, clays and plants, and incorporates organic structures, human artefacts, and animal track impressions in her installations.
Themes related to conservation and the integration of art and science are central to her artistic practice. Maisie was raised in a lion research camp in Southern Africa and has worked at several biological research stations in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. She is currently collaborating with Peruvian reforestation centre Camino Verde as a botanical illustrator, and is experimenting with indigenous European flora from her home in rural Italy.
Learn more about Maisie McNeice
July 27, 2021
ACEER Conservation Fellow and Amazon Aid, Artist for the Amazon Maisie McNeice is an Artist who has worked in Peru and Africa and has always had a fascination for the intersection of Art and Science. She moved to Umbria last year, and inspired by the land has begun to set up an Artist in Residence program Studio Verde aiming to integrate Art and Ecology by including specialists in the field of botany, entomology and conservation.
Maisie met ACEER Conservation Fellow Riccardo in 2019 when visiting Finca Las Piedras research and education centre in the Peruvian Amazon. Riccardo was the academics programs coordinator; he took care of the internship program, he gave workshops, guiding students through the forest, training in GPS use, GIS mapping, R statistics and biological monitoring and birding. In Studio Verde he will be taking residents out into the field introducing them to local history, sustainable agroforestry and traditional olive and chestnut harvesting. He will run workshops on animal monitoring and the local fauna.
Studio Verde AIR will be running its first Art & Ecology program in September over a period of three weeks. During this time residents will be able to learn from experts while exploring the area. The mission is to provide artists an environment where they can work on their own projects inspired by the land, while also being guided and taught by experts enabling the possibility to spark new ideas.
Innovation depends on our capacity to see things from a different perspective. Artists and scientists have long looked to nature for inspiration, and subsequent innovations have led to great leaps forward across multiple fields.
Cross-disciplinary efforts provide a bridge for artists, designers and scientists to tackle problems related to climate change, our environment and things that affect our day to day lives.
Ignazio Graziosi will be running the entomology program. He is an entomologist interested in insects damaging forests and crops, invasive species in general, and forest ecology. Born in Bologna, he graduated in forestry at the University of Florence, and obtained a PhD in entomology from the University of Kentucky (USA).
He has worked in North America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. He seeks to understand the ecology of invasive insects and to use this knowledge to develop management strategies – including the use of natural enemies (biological control). He is interested in communication, to raise awareness about the life of insects, forest health and invasive species.
Eduardo Gesuelli is the botanist who will be running the botanical program. He graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Florence with a thesis in taxonomic and functional diversity of semi-natural dry grassland.
His program will include a general introduction of the Plantae Kingdom. Analysis of their evolution and adaptations needed for living outside an aqueous medium. Decentralised VS centralised system and strategies for survival without moving. He will also run lectures and workshops on general ecology, plant succession as a tool for landscape reading, introduction to the main families of plants, how to collect specimens, how to identify them using dichotomous keys and how to mount the specimens in a herbarium. During a field trip in the surrounding area he will show the function behind the shapes of the different structures found, correlation between form and function, focus on reproduction strategies and different ways for dispersion.
At the moment this program is based in Central Italy, however it is being developed so it can travel to Peru in the future.
You can see more about what Studio Verde is about here.