Associate Professor of Art & Environment

Daro Montag's art practice has, for many years, been involved with environmental and ecological issues - he is particularly interested in the inherent creativity of the organic world. His research and creative practice start from the premise that the natural world is best understood as being constituted of interacting events rather than consisting of discrete objects. This philosophical position foregrounds the significance of process and its residue. In order to make art with living matter the artist has enlisted the assistance of micro-organisms, plants, insects, toads and other creatures. He has also worked with natural phenomena including wind, rain and fire. Much of this work uses the concept of the indexical trace where nature's events are enabled to generate their own image. He completed his MA at the Royal College of Art in 1994, and a PhD at the University of Hertfordshire in 2000.

Daro's work has been exhibited at galleries in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and the UAE, and published in a number of catalogues. He has also produced commissioned work in collaboration with the Met Office and the Institute of Animal Health. In 2002 he was awarded a prestigious art-science prize in Tokyo. In 2007 he was commissioned to develop an art-science exhibition which resulted in a project entitled 'This Earth'. The subsequent exhibition and book examines the creative and productive potential of soils from a number of different perspectives. This concern about the importance of soils is being further developed, in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, as part of a major project for 2013-17.

Another ongoing project is 'RANE-CHAR', an action in which biochar was produced and distributed as a means of raising awareness and mitigating climate change. This project developed from his participation in the 2009 Cape Farewell expedition to the Peruvian Andes and Amazon as part of a team engaged in the cultural response to environmental change.

As well as leading MA Art & Environment at Falmouth, Daro also runs the research group in Art, Nature & Environment - RANE.

Contact details

Telephone 01326 259164



Year Qualification Awarding body
2000 PhD Bioglyphs: Generating images in collaboration with nature's events University of Hertfordshire
1996 Postgraduate Certificate of Education University of Greenwich
1994 MA Royal College of Art
1982 BA(Hons) Kingston Polytechnic

Honors and awards

Year Description
2011 Shortlisted for the COAL Art & Environment Award, Paris
2005 The Colour Lab Bursary, Sherborne House, Dorset
2002 2002 L’Oreal Art and Science Foundation Prize, Tokyo
1996 PhD Research Bursary, University of Hertfordshire
1994 Bankers Trust Pyramid Award
1994 Fletcher King Award
1994 Chesterton Award
1992 Arts Council Commission

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

Expertise in environmental and ecological art, with particular emphasis on how the arts will help us move away from an unsustainable culture towards a more positive future.

Research centre and group affiliations

RANE Research Group

Research Topics

  • Process Philosophy
  • Indexicality
  • Environment
  • Ecology
  • Art

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Montag, Daro (2009) Leafcutter Ant Drawing. In: Expeditions. CCW Graduate School, London. ISBN 978-1-908339-03-4
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Conference or Workshop Item

Montag, Daro (2015) Soil - The Dark Horizon. In: Wildness / Wilderness symposium, 26.6.2015, Plymouth University. (Unpublished) Item not available from this repository.

Montag, Daro (2014) Something Better Change. In: Green Connections: Environmental response and the arts, 5.9.2014, University of Exeter. (Unpublished) Item not available from this repository.

Montag, Daro (2014) Losing Ground: The extinction of Soil. In: Facing Extinction: Gustav Metzger, 7-8.6.2014, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. (Unpublished) Item not available from this repository.


Montag, Daro, Adams, Clive, Holden, Patrick and Lascelles, Bruce (2016) Soil Culture: Bringing the Arts down to Earth. CCANW & Gaia Books, Dartington, Devon. ISBN 978-0-9932192-1-4

Montag, Daro (2013) Dialogues with Nature. Noosa Regional Gallery, Tewantin/ Festerman Press, Cornwall, Penryn, Cornwall, UK. ISBN 978-0-9544187-8-6


Montag, Daro (2009) RANE-Char. [Artwork]
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Montag, Daro and Drury, Chris (2016) Earth. [Exhibition]

Adamas, Clive and Montag, Daro (2015) Soil Culture: Deep Roots. [Exhibition] Item not available from this repository.


Montag, Daro, Osmond, Matthew and Allen, Jude (2014) Soil Culture Forum. [Conference]
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Montag, Daro (2008) Artful Ecologies. [Conference]

Externally funded research grants information

Collaborators Currency Funder HESA Category Project title Value Year ending Year starting


2009 Art & Ecological Thinking - AIAS conference, Falmouth University


2008 The Creative Footprint, Symposium on art & environment, Stroud Valley Artspace, 11 June. Panel member.


2008 Artful Ecologies 2 – RANE international conference, Falmouth University


2008 The Aesthetics of Life, Symposium on Bio-art, University of Exeter, 14 May. Panel member.


2007 Responding to Climate Change - Day of events, Penryn Campus, Falmouth University


2006 Artful Ecologies - RANE international conference, Falmouth University


2006 Greenhouse Britain University of Plymouth, Symposium with the Harrisons organised by CCANW, 26 November Panel member


Areas of teaching

  • Art
  • Environment
  • Ecology

Courses taught

  • MA Art & Environment

Professional Engagement

Independent professional practice


Solo Exhibitions


  • 2013 'Dialogues with Nature' - Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia
  • 2009 'RANE-CHAR' - Eden Project as part of Cape Farewell event
  • 2006 'This Earth' (as part of Future Palette) - Sherborne House, Dorset
  • 2003 'Stalking Nature' - Open Hand Open Space, Reading  
  • 2001 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
  • 2000 Caren Golden Fine Art, New York
  • 2000 The Economist, London   
  • 1996 Windlesham Arboretum, Surrey 
  • 1994 Bibliotheque Multimedia de Valenciennes, France
  • 1993 Freshfields, London   
  • 1992 Musee de St Malo, France   
  • 1992 Plymouth Art Centre   
  • 1992 Poole Heritage Centre   
  • 1992 Bridport Art Centre
  • 1992 Islington Arts Factory


Selected group exhibitions


  • 2013 'Making Tracks' - ONCA Gallery, Brighton
  • 2010-11 'Unfold' - Cape Farewell touring exhibition
  • May - June 2010 University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria
  • August - October 2010 Kings Place Gallery, London
  • October - November 2010 University Gallery, Northumbria
  • December 2010 - January 2011 Newlyn Art Gallery
  • February - April 2011 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA
  • September - December 2011 Parsons School of Design, USA
  • 2009 'Dynamic Equilibrium' - Mandeville Gallery, Union College, USA
  • 2007 'Deep Process' - Gershman Y Gallery, Philadelphia
  • 2006-07 'Alchemy' - Purdy Hicks touring exhibition
  • 2007 Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
  • 2007 Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham
  • 2006 Harewood House, Leeds 
  • 2006 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
  • 2006 'Flux' - National Theatre/Deutsche Bank
  • 2006 'Forest Dreaming' - Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World
  • 2006 'Documenting FMD' - Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 2004-06 'Elemental Insight' - Met Office touring exhibition, ten UK venues
  • 2004 Insects & Art - University of Plymouth
  • 2004 Elemental Insight - Met Office, Exeter
  • 2004 Poole Photography Festival - Study Gallery, Poole
  • 2004 'The Trace Edition' - Hirschl Contemporary Art, London
  • 2004 'Complexity' - UMBC, Baltimore University
  • 2004 'Complexity' - Slusser Gallery, University of Michigan   
  • 2004 'Optic Nerve' - Photofusion, London
  • 2003 'The Big Blip' - Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton
  • 2003 'Z15 (30x30)' - Zelda Cheatle Gallery, London 
  • 2003 'Tooth & Claw' - Royal West of England Academy, Bristol   
  • 2003 'Complexity' - Federal Reserve Fine Art Gallery, Washington DC   
  • 2003 'Optic Nerve' - Wolsey Gallery, Ipswich   
  • 2002-03 'Love, Labour & Loss' - Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Gallery, Exeter   
  • 2002 'Complexity' - Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York   
  • 2002 'Love, Labour & Loss' - Tullie House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle   
  • 2002 'Forest' - Winchester Gallery, Southern Arts touring exhibition   
  • 2002 'Summer Exhibition' - Purdy Hicks Gallery, London   
  • 2002 'International Digital Miniature Print Portfolio' - University of West of England   
  • 2001-02 This is (not) a photograph - USA touring exhibition           
  • 2002 DePaul University Museum, Chicago, USA          
  • 2001 Carleton College Gallery, Minnesota, USA           
  • 2001 Bayley Art Museum, University of Virginia, USA           
  • 2001 University Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego, USA   
  • 2000 'Somewhere, someone is doing something' - VTO Gallery, London  
  • 2000 'Summer exhibition' - Purdy Hicks Gallery, London   
  • 2000 'Research into practice' - University of Hertfordshire   
  • 2000 'Revelation' - Tullie House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle   
  • 1999 'Revelation' - Purdy Hicks Gallery   
  • 1999 'Phenomena' - The Friends of Photography, San Francisco   
  • 1999 'Unnatural' - Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco   
  • 1999 'This is not a photograph' - Pace University Gallery, New York   
  • 1998-99 'Near' - Museum of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates   
  • 1998 'Flowers' - Hartlepool Art Gallery
  • 1998 'The Citibank photography collection' - The Photographers Gallery, London   
  • 1998 '5' - Royal College of Art, London   
  • 1997 Islington International Festival - London  
  • 1997 Islip Art Museum, New York   
  • 1996 Caren Golden Fine Art, New York  
  • 1996 'Exposition A Suivre' - Bruneck Castle, Italy   
  • 1995 'Possibilities of Extension' - Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth   
  • 1995 'Heaven’s Embroidered Cloths' - National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford

Daro Montag's work is held in several collections, including Arts Council of Great Britain, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Freshfields, National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Met Office, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle.