I'm Dylan, I am a scholar activist-pracademic multimedia artist. I have a trans-disciplinary PhD in Environmental Education at the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), at Rhodes University in South Africa, with an informal split site affiliation with the Social Sculpture at the Social Sculpture Research Unit (SSRU), at Oxford Brookes. I started out my career caught between Fine Arts, Performance and Biology, Driven by a deep longing to work with animals, and to respond to massive catastrophic global ecological collapse, so I became a Zoolgist/Marine Biologist, and then an Environmental Scientist. Early on I realised the most important place to focus my attention was on socio-cultural transformation. Storytelling became my most powerful instrument in this transformative and transgressive work, using visual art, theatre, social sculpture and other genres, I discovered ways in which suitably strange creative practice could transform inner landscapes of people, and in turn transform outside ones.
I now find myself working in this nexus space transcending disciplines and scales of activity, working as both a researcher in educational sociology, ecological economics, social/environmental justice, anthropology and social learning. I currently co-direct the ONE OCEAN HUB global transformative governance research network, and focus my attention on developing Empatheatre ( a theatre-based approach to transgressive social learning, and an extra-legal alternative to democratising policy change). My academic work to date has mainly revolved around sustainable rural development, Environmental Justice, developing pedagogies for ecological citizenship, practice-based arts research and transgressive social environmental learning.
My artwork and creative practice is particularly focused on empathy, and primarily I work with imagination, listening and empathy as actual sculptural materials. My area of expertise is developing pedagogies for empathy, in the context of ecological citizenship, and I explore the sculptural potential of empathy, attentiveness, intuition and learning. I created the Institute of Uncanny Justness as a collaborative space to explore with others the powerful role suitably strange creative practice can have on re-imagining learning, activism and justice.
"His sensitivity and integrity regarding valuing the knowledge, perspectives and values of others is amazing – a role model for others."
Professor Charlie Shackleton,
Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University