Events and Programmes
Events and Programmes Event Calendar
Soil and Art: Soil Painting Experience Workshop

In this “Soil and Art: Soil Painting Experience Workshop”, we explore how art can connect us more deeply to the earth and the local environment. Our featured artist, David St Maur Sheil, uses natural soils to create stunning artworks that showcase the beauty, texture, and diversity of the earth. Through this workshop, you will have the opportunity to engage more intimately with the materials and the natural environment from which they come. 

Soil art is a deeply ecological approach to art that raises consciousness about the importance of soil in our lives. By prospecting for soils, artists can discover pigments that would otherwise be bought from commercial suppliers, and take the time to grind and prepare their own materials. Soil art not only engages the artist but also raises the consciousness of the viewer, as it reveals the hidden beauty in soil through works of art.

Understanding and caring for soil is critical for the health and wellbeing of society and the Earth.  This interactive hands-on experience introduces participants to the relationships between soil-structure, microbes, fungi, plant growth, animal life, geology, hydrology and topography, not to mention human interactions from composting to soil as an art medium, and on a wider scale the implications of these insights for the future of agriculture, diet and climate change.

Join us in this workshop to explore the world of soil art and discover the beauty and importance of soil in our lives. Let's connect more deeply to the earth and take action to protect and preserve our planet for generations to come.

A half-day hands-on, and interactive workshop combining a number of modules, including:

  • Opening circle and introduction to soil
  • Hands-on examination of soil 
  • Understand the soil web of life, from soil microbes to climate change
  • Compost building and basic principles of compost
  • Challenges facing global soils and sustainable solutions
  • Producing simple paint from soils
  • Creative cooperative soil painting exercise

Venue: Sunshine Hall, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

Adult course:
Class A: 6th January 2024 (Sat)
Class B: 13th January 2024 (Sat)
Apply here

Time: 10:00am-12:30pm

Target Audience:
Adult course: Aged 16 and above

Capacity: 12-20 per class

Adult course: $380

Language: English

Enquiry: Alice Lam at 2483 7276 or email to

Group booking for all ages is also available during November and December. Please fill in the online application form here

“It’s so easy to think of our soil as lifeless, but Dave reminded us that there are protozoa, amoeba, proteins, amino acids, all these things. It was like a flashback to high school biology - this is stuff I knew! - but this time, it meant so much more to me as a student of landscape. Soil is not just dirt - it is alive.”


About the Artist
David St Maur Sheil is a visual artist who creates stunning artworks using natural soils. 

At his workshop in Lam Tsuen valley, David breaks down soil into its many parts, including stones, grits, sand, tiny crystals, organic matter, clays and even dust. He then reassembles them into striking art pieces that showcase the beauty, texture, and diversity of the earth.

For David, art is a means of exploring the healing potential and the deep sustaining roots of our connection to the earth. He believes that the transition to sustainability requires a deep cultural shift and that art can play a crucial role in engaging people's attention and raising consciousness about the beauty and importance of soil to us all.