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James Eddy, one of our favourite artists whose work we show here at our Create Art Gallery, has just finished an outdoor art installation at the Eden Project.

James’ playful arrangement of willow, rocks, sand and stones represents a ‘River of Life’, and was commissioned by the Eden Project to encourage visitors to reflect on their experience of nature and how their feelings towards nature can change over their lifetime.

Researchers wanted to understand how people interact with environmental attractions like the Eden Project. They are inviting visitors to use the mobile app ramblr to map their route around the site – adding photos and videos at points they find interesting.

The project is a three-way collaboration between James, the University of Exeter and the Eden Project.

Dr Sarah Bell of the University of Exeter said: “We know spending time in natural environments can be good for people, but environmental ‘experiences’ can vary substantially.

A specific sight, sound or smell might conjure memories or a sense of connection, whilst others elicit little conscious response at all. This pilot study aims to consider how mobile applications might give us new perspectives on these experiences, how they vary over people’s lives, and how they affect a visitor’s journey at Eden.”

By learning more about how these processes work, the team are hoping their work might be used to help boost people’s health, happiness and wellbeing when in natural environments.

James’ ‘River of Life’ exhibit is open now and will grow and change throughout 2016. If you would like to take part in the study, please get in touch with Sarah at Sarah.Bell@exeter.ac.uk.