Among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, the collaborative team of Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison (often referred to simply as “the Harrisons”) have worked for almost fifty years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.
The Harrison’s concept of art embraces a breathtaking range of disciplines. They are historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries and art activists. Their work involves proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context. Throughout there is a concern with questions of survival and growth which are approached through novel methods of systems thinking. Early on the artist duo made a commitment to one client - the environment, referred to as the life web. Through this commitment, and renaming, the common perception of environment as an object for extraction of resources and as something which exists to serve human social systems is reversed.