‘the sea cannot be depleted‘, is a spoken word and sound piece for online broadcast, about the Solway Firth, the sense of place that comes with living with that place and about the uranium that the military have dumped beneath the surface of the sea.

Listen online: ‘the sea cannot be depleted‘.

The website includes journal entries on the research process and information on uranium weapons.

‘the sea cannot be depleted‘ was funded by Future’s Venture Foundation.

‘the sea cannot be depleted’ was presented at the Nuclear Futures seminar for scientists, academics, nuclear industry managers and activists concerned with geological disposal of nuclear wastes (Sheffield, 2018).

The Critical Fish, a journal promoting art and critical writing around Hull, featured a blog about ‘the sea cannot be depleted’ (December 2020). ClimateCultures featured blog by Wallace (11 July 2018). Commonweal for a Nonviolent World published an interview with Wallace (17 July 2018). The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts published the essay by Wallace, ‘The tides of not-knowing in a nuclear sea’ ‘Unknown and Uncertain’ issue, Q22, (2018).

With Mark Toogood (Senior Lecturer in Geography, University of Central Lancashire) and Claire Waterton (Professor of Sociology, Lancaster University), Wallace researches the work of women scientists at the Freshwater Biological Association, Far Sawrey, Windermere. Their latest article, ‘Women Scientists and the Freshwater Biological Association 1929-1950’, is published in the Archives of Natural History. 47:1, April 2020, p. 16-28.


Theatre, conflict and nature‘, for Green Letters, the publication of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment-UKI, special edition on performance and ecology edited by Carl Lavery, 2016. The journal essay also is published in the book by Routledge, Performance and Ecology. What Can Theatre Do? (2018) with a paperback version coming out in December 2020.

‘How I love to Moa’, an essay on John Lyall’s Requiem for Electronic Moa, published in Elemental, edited by James Brady, a publication of GAIA Project Press, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2016.

Landing Stages. Selections from the Ashden Directory 2000 – 2014. co-edited with Eleanor Margolies, published by the Ashden Trust.
Landing Stages marks 15 years of the Ashden Directory and Ashdenizen, websites focused on ecology, climate and culture. The book is an online pdf, free to download, available at For a print copy, please email.

CIWEM awarded the Ashden Directory and Landing Stages the Nick Reeves Award for AWE-inspiring projects, 2015.

The articles and essays shown below explore conversation, place-based performance, Aristotelian phronēsis, learning as an ecological phenomenon, relational ethics and ethics at a distance, social sculpture, rhetoric, emotions, slow activism. The subjects include climate change, rivers, environmental justice, bananas, ecological sound art, walking, learning, eco-dramaturgy.

The résumé.pdf holds a full list of publications including interviews and book reviews.


HOMELAND by Platform 1993

‘To come into conversation can be a disturbing thing, exposing, altering and aesthetic. How the conversation is made can conduct the speakers in an unknown direction … To talk with a stranger about love, home and ecological interdependency—while sitting in the back of a large truck parked on a fast-trafficked street—rests those conversations within the social conventions and ethical demands of speaking together in public, while inviting an event into existence, one in which the aesthetic, imaginative, and transformative may be realized…

HOMELAND entered the flux of everyday life, listened and spoke with the city. The longing was, as well, for the public space in which to speak; to not only view a work of art, but to be heard through one’.

key words: Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Aristotle

in B. Szerszynski, W. Heim & C. Waterton (Eds), (2003) Nature Performed. Environment, Culture and Performance. Oxford: Blackwell / Sociological Review. pp. 183-202.

‘The question of whether a place can learn requires keeping the subject who learns, but proposes another realm of capacity, the relational field, which is intangible, but not abstract.

The question draws attention, too, towards site-based performance that is concerned with environmental change, with place, with the chiasmus of the human and the other-than-human. The question’s heuristic value opens up considerations of how the human performs aesthetically in a life world that has processes and desires outwith and affected by those of the human. How would one perform with a valley, a city edge, a stretch of estuary, a sculpted park if one could recognise or enter that meso-zone of learning, however transient or ill-defined it might be?’

key words: Gregory Bateson, Arne Naess, Jakob von Uexküll

in Performance Research (2012) 17:4, pp 120-127.

nature performed1Wallace Heim co-edited this collection, following from the event BETWEEN NATURE, with Bronislaw Szerszynski and Claire Waterton. Nature Performed was published by Oxford: Blackwell / Sociological Review in 2003, and Wiley-Blackwell in 2004.

Contributors include: Nigel Clark, David Crouch, Ronald Grimes, Hayden Lorimer and Katrin Lund, Dave Horton and Matt Watson.

Review: ‘A testimonial to the passions, responsibilities and creative activism currently being enacted in areas of environmental concern…the book overall makes an important contribution, with many strong and interesting chapters, and should have appeal across a wide range of audiences.’ Environmental Values, 14:4.

by Simon Whitehead, Barnaby Oliver, Stirling Steward. photo © S Whitehead  2000

somasonicspirit by Simon Whitehead, Barnaby Oliver, Stirling Steward. photo © S Whitehead 2000

‘It was hot that day. In the glass-enclosed stairwell, one entered from the top and lowered oneself through strata of sound, the combined acoustics of sharply rippling water and an indecipherable, modulating technology-hum. Sunlight refracted in clear jars holding water and wet mosses, grasses and reeds. Nearby, but not visible, to the east, from sunrise to sunset, Simon Whitehead was walking Clougha Pike, the fells Hare Appletree, Rowton Brook and Black, listening, searching for the waterways under the crust of land, the gravity-drawn streams and the defiant, emergent springs.

Simon relayed the sounds of water by mobile phone to Barnaby Oliver, who, in the stairwell, projected those sounds through a system of cascading speakers … One felt as if deep inside the flow as the sounds became geological and evolved into a meditative harmonic texture’.

in Whitehead, Simon (2006). Walking to Work. Abercych: Shoeless, pp 84.

Exchange Values by Shelley Sacks

A Gathering of Waters by Basia Irland

A Gathering of Waters by Basia Irland

‘The artist navigates, rather than conducts, the flow of the conversation. The artist asks the instigating question, listens, sets a context for action, creates an aesthetic milieu in which an event is mutually created. The exchanges depend on the talents of the speakers to respond to the insights, fallibilities and allure of each other. This involves not only the matter conversed, but the subjectivities engaged, which are, in the action, opened to change. It is an improvisatory, slow activism’.

A Gathering of Waters: The Rio Grande from the Source to the Sea by Basia Irland 1995 – 2000
Exchange Values by Shelley Sacks 1996 – 2005

key words: Hannah Arendt, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Aristotle

in Giannachi, G. and Stewart, N. (Eds) (2005). Performing Nature. Explorations in ecology and the arts Bern:. Peter Lang, pp. 199 – 216.

readings performance 1Epilogue: Thinking forward …

‘My purpose is to encourage an eco-dramaturgy that not only makes explicit how performance and theatre create particular modes of ecological knowledge, but also to activate the interchange of this knowledge across disciplines and practices, because this is an essential transport in a time of climate instability…

Emotions about nature are implied in interpretations; an ache, or longing, runs through these essays. But the emotions in performance as they relate to nature-human relations is an area yet to be investigated in itself. The capacity of performance to explore unmapped forms of feeling contributes to the efforts to establish performance as a special mode of ecological understanding. It also challenges criticism to find the languages to articulate these emotions’.

in Readings in Performance and Ecology, edited by Wendy Arons and Theresa J. May (2012) New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 211 – 216.

Evaluation for Working in Public, a project of On the Edge, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

‘The practices in the field of art and social engagement are multi-disciplinary, collaborative and composite. The art works involve multiple variations of practices, processes and publics. The talents involved extend beyond those of conventional arts education, into areas like conflict resolution, mediation, ethics, cultural power and ecological understanding.

Working in Public, a collaborative, cross-sectoral project was an ambitious, novel and comprehensive engagement with the field. It exemplified the theoretical arguments, and, as ground-level experience, provided evidence from which assess what higher education can offer as a method and structure for progressing art in the public realm’.

The evaluation was commissioned by Professor Anne Douglas.…