Earth Arts

Nurturing the role of creativity in transforming law and governance

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance believes that cultural change is a vital part of building Earth jurisprudence.

In his book Wild Law, Cormac Cullinan speaks to the necessity of “developing new ‘theories’ of governance to supplant the old”. Artists are well placed to facilitate this ‘re-imagining’ – they have long scouted the fringes, frontiers and forgotten places, in search of possibility. As the artist Mel Chin elucidates “the world is defined by pain and imagination. Pain in its final form is war and torture, and it destroys the capacity for the formation of language, and it unmakes our world. On the inverse side is imagination”.

In Modern times, ‘Art’ has been relegated to the fringes, not as a knowledge source, but as a form of control, a romantic ideal. So it may not seem obvious then, for Art to be represented at a ‘governance roundtable’, but that is precisely where it can help at this juncture of global environmental crisis. Because artists are shape shifters, translators, provocateurs, we are comfortable with the messy, primal and unknown.

If you are a creative and interested in getting involved, sharing your ideas or you’re simply curious about how Earth Jurisprudence links art + governance, we’d love to hear from you – this is an open and emergent space.

For more information, please email 


We have a very active and resourceful Earth Arts facebook group, to join please click here.

We also post a quarterly Earth Arts e-newsletter featuring events, opportunities and artists. To receive the newsletter please click here.


  • Rights of Nature Australia (RONA16) National Arts Fiesta! AELA is hosting Australia’s first Rights of Nature Tribunal in Brisbane on 22ndOctober 2016.  To support the Tribunal and promote cultural engagement with the emerging movement around the Rights of Nature, our intention is to blend the creative re-interpretation of environmental governance with cultural responses to the rights of the natural world to flourish.FOR FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT RONA16 – PLEASE CLICK HERE OR VISIT OUR DEDICATED RONA16 WEBSITE – 
  • Feature Artists in our Earth Arts newsletter We’re always looking for artists to feature in our newsletters. It’s a great opportunity to connect into this space and showcase your work. We ask for 150-200 words on your practice, 2 images/sounds/video and a weblink. If you are interested, please email –


Behind the scenes we’re constantly researching ideas, collaborating across the country and around the world, working with interns and volunteers, and developing new projects in conjunction with AELA members. These are the main areas we focus on and we’d be happy to talk to you about research, consultancy and collaborative opportunities:

  • Merging arts and Earth laws campaigns
  • Contributing creative practice and knowledge to ongoing work around Eradicating Ecocide; Sharing Law; Earth Democracy; Future Dreaming; the International Rights of Nature Tribunal and other issues

  • Research Projects
  • Habitat & Governance – contributing a creative lens to research Earth-centred governance structures and their implementation for bioregional ecosystem health

    Other topics are being developed in conjunction with AELA members

  • Collaborative events
  • Bringing artists, lawyers, scientists and other professions together for creative projects


Please click on the links to find out more about – and see photos from – the events below:

  • Earth Leaders LabJuly 2014, Bundanon NSW – In conjunction with Bundanon Siteworks, AELA worked with De Quincey Co and Lean Productions to run a 1 day workshop that brought people together from the arts, education, law, science and architecture, to explore how our different professional traditions engage with caring for the Earth.  Our National Convenor, Michelle Maloney, also joined a panel facilitated by ABC journalist Robin Williams, and AELA Project Manager Jules Livingstone led workshop discussions with Bundanon participants about Earth laws topics.
  • Wild Law Art Exhibition – September 2013, Brisbane – This art exhibition was created in partnership with Professor Marian Drew and her colleagues and students at the Griffith University College of Art.  It opened in conjunction with AELA’s 2013 Wild Law Conference, titled “Living within our Ecological Limits – Law and Governance for a Finite World”
  • Wild Law Arts Incubator – June 2012, Sydney – in partnership with De Quincey Co. This workshop was organised by De Quincey Co, to bring Earth lawyers, indigenous community leaders and artists together to explore Earth jurisprudence.  AELA’s National Convenor Michelle Maloney gave a talk and led workshop discussions at the event.