Texturen des Ortes Version II

Texturen des Ortes Version II

11 April until 18 May 2019

This was a two-person exhibition of my sculpture and objects alongside another artist’s paintings in a second version of Textures of Place/Texturen des Ortes at the Inselgalerie in Berlin. The collaboration explores the juxtapositions of visual idioms to reflect on the immediacy and distance of place. Key concerns are material presence, surface and texture
A first version of the collaboration was shown at Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź from 3rd to 26th April 2017.

Deborah Gardner’s research tests how sculpture practices can generate complexity and interactivity, thereby commenting on physical and societal growth structures and systems. The work is often initiated by studying the growth patterns of such things as clusters and colonies or a response to space/place, such as imaginary journeys to the far side of the Moon.

New Doggerland

New Doggerland

future imaginings of place and culture

A new artists project at Lumen Crypt Gallery: 200 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9PA
Exhibition dates: 30th May to 9th June
Gallery Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday 12 – 6 pm
Opening event: Thursday 30th May 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Exhibiting artists: Frances Burden |Deborah Gardner |Jane Millar | Sarah Sparkes

In a sense, if you’re not getting it wrong really a lot when you’re creating imaginary futures, then you’re just not doing it enough. You’re not creating enough imaginary futures.
William Gibson

New Doggerland is a new multi-disciplinary artists project for a future imagining of physical and cultural re-connection between Britain and the European mainland. Doggerland is the name given to the ancient landmass, now submerged, that once connected Britain to Northern Europe. What if a new land mass rises up and we become physically part of the mainland again?

New Doggerland is a project about future land and humans. It asks questions to which the exhibitors and participants will respond with different ideas and answers. Who will be living there and how? It may evoke a Ballardian dystopia, or ideas of possible Utopia. Or could New Doggerland be the heterotopia where we go to experience ‘other’ selves, a place of becoming?

About the artwork: featured works include textiles, sculpture, ceramics and installation. Frances Burden’s stitched pieces and works on paper range from the uniformity of Orwell and Huxley to the wild Egyptian glamour of Earth Wind and Fire, to explore the common themes of future imagining the look of dress and costume. Her pieces here are a sample selection for the everyday and the ceremonial. Sculptor Deborah Gardner considers future shifting plant environments from the local to the alien and imaginary considerations of plants in space, partly inspired by recent images of NASA’s experiments with growing plants on space craft and science fiction visions of extra-terrestrial colonisation. Ceramic artist Jane Millar envisions a future crisis of lost knowledge. Her Orrery attempts a narration of origins and contingencies, while a Werkbund type display case function as itinerant triggers for unrecovered memories and soothe future human survivors’ guilt. Artist Sarah Sparkes followed her MA with studying for an archaeology diploma in the pre-history of southern Britain. Sparkes returns to her past research and assimilates this with themes from science fiction. She has imagined her work and New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris.

Lumen are an art collective focused on astronomy and light. St John on Bethnal Green is a grade 1 Listed Building designed by Sir John Soane, and was built between 1826 and 1828. The Lumen Crypt Gallery reflects Sir John Soane’s attention to detail, boasting unique curved walls and egg shaped pods. https://www.lumenstudios.co.uk/gallery

Press Contact: janemillar93@gmail.com | 07817906204

Frances Burden | fran.burden@googlemail.com | https://www.instagram.com/fran.burden_textile/

Deborah Gardner | D.A.Gardner@leeds.ac.uk | https://deborahgardner.co.uk/

Jane Millar | janemillar93@gmail.com | http://www.jane-millar.co.uk/home/

Sarah Sparkes | shedlady@hotmail.com | http://www.sarahsparkes.com/blog/

Artists Biographies

Frances Burden is a Yorkshire-based artist and graduated with an MA in painting from the Slade School of Art in 1986. She works mainly in textile media and has exhibited extensively: selected exhibitions include the 2009 Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space; The Alternative Village Fete, with homeliveart part of the ‘Watch this Space Festival” at the Royal National Theatre, London; Against Idleness, Solo project at Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, 2012; Curious: a site-specific art trail in West Norwood Cemetery, London, curated by Jane Millar; The Curious Exchange, Dulwich Festival 2013; Crazee Golf, Tintype, London, and 1d For Abroad, Tintype, London, 2019. Frances also teaches specialist workshops in Blackwork embroidery at Ray Stitch, London.

Deborah Gardner is an artist who’s sculptural practice is process and materially led and references the body, place and embodied memory and structures, which refer to propagation, multiplicity and the cellular. She has exhibited in galleries, museums, hospitals, cemeteries, sculpture parks and industrial regeneration sites. She lectures at the University of Leeds and is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Recent exhibitions include: Monument at the Musee des Beaux Arts, Calais, France; Conway Actants, Conway Hall, London; Landscape, Art & Uncertainty, Southampton City Art gallery; Textures of Place at the Galeria Strefa Erasmusa,  Łódź, Poland and Texturen des Ortes, Inselgalerie, Berlin.  Recent funded research projects include: an Arts Council funded body of work , permanently sited at the Biomedical Research Centre, Leeds , a Leeds Museum Innovation funded project at  Leeds Discovery Centre and an Arts and Science Platform organised in collaboration with the Zoological Society, London.

Sarah Sparkes is a London based artist and curator exhibiting in the UK and internationally. Her work ‘The GHost Formula’, 2016, commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), toured to NTMoFA (National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts) as part of the exhibition ‘No Such Thing As Gravity’ curated by Rob La Frenais. She her film ‘Time You Need’ recipient of the MERU ART*SCIENCE award 2015 has entered the collections of GAMeC (Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo). In collaboration with Ian Thompson, she was awarded a funded BEYOND artist residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Northumberland 2018. She exhibits with New Art Projects London. Sparkes’ work explores magical or mythical narratives, vernacular belief systems and the visualisation of anomalous phenomena. Her work is often research led and an exploration into the borderlands where science and magic intersect. She leads the visual arts and creative research project GHost.

Jane Millar makes wall-based ceramic sculpture and installation. Her work alludes to a territory between natural and unnatural, between plant, body and earth, employing the seduction and longing, materiality and fragility of ceramics. She has curated site-responsive funded exhibitions and projects including Curious art projects at West Norwood Cemetery (2012 and 2013), The Curious Exchange Dulwich Festival, and ACE funded project Conway Actants at Conway Hall. Recent shows include the Creekside Open 2017, selected by Alison Wilding; Cosmic Perspectives curated by Lumen at Ugly Duck, Bermondsey;  More in Common at APT Gallery; Votive, with the Clayworkers Union for the Thames Festival; Space Shift at APT Gallery; The Ghost Tide, Thameside Gallery; 50 Celsius, ASC Open, selected by Tabish Khan, and Creekside Open 2019 selected by Brian Griffiths. She is working within a new context of contemporary ceramics, and devised and developed an artists’ project of future imagining,  New Doggerland.

Art & Science: another way of looking

Art & Science: another way of looking

School of Design, University of Leeds

23rd January – 15th February 2019

Bruning- Richardson and Gardner found, during discussions surrounding their research areas, that they share interests in manifestations of cellularity, multiplicity, propagation, and migration, as well as a consideration of correlations between the micro and the macro, from the cosmos to the interior body. In their first public engagement event during Leeds Light Night 2017, Gardner made sculptures with neon helium balloons as a means of testing to what extent art works can operate as working tools, which may cultivate insight into Bruning- Richardson’s discussion with members of the public on her most recent research activity and ideas of nuclei and migration.
Anke is a cancer researcher, now based at Huddersfield University. She is investigating new ways to diagnose and treat aggressive cancers, such as brain tumours. She is actively involved in public engagement and outreach work; where she often encounters a reluctance on her audience’s part to fully engage, as cancer is still often seen as a death sentence. Colourful images of cancer cells, created as part of her research, are beautiful and perceived as such when the viewer does not know what he/she is looking at, enabling a dialogue and taking away associated fears and misconceptions.
Deborah’s work is inspired by the growth patterns of physical phenomena and, most recently, by her microscope observations of botanic solutions at Leeds Discovery Centre and Anke’s images of cells shared in collaborative activity. Deborah’s sculptures explore ideas of accumulation and multiplicity, where the making is improvisatory. The conceptualisation and articulation of sculpture is driven through tactile approaches to material and construction. The sculptures test how static structures may be imbued with a sense of speed, mutation and development.

More in Common

More in Common

A.P.T GalleryLondon

6-16th September 2019

More in Common considers a new post Brexit national landscape, questioning communal and societal belonging and identity and what might be a divided, tumultuous political geography. This exhibition proposes to bring together four related projects all of which directly address these issues through the creative arts. These projects are ongoing or very recently undertaken. Geographically they span much of the UK, from Cumbria to Yorkshire, from Lincolnshire to London. They all engage with those voices that are less heard. They all respond to political and cultural places and spaces, and between them consider systems of language and communication. This stimulated multivalent considerations on societal spaces, aspirations and how behaviours might co/operate now. These distinctive places, under investigation were reconfigured in the gallery, so becoming a productive space for new dialogues and meanings to emerge. The exhibition included audio-visual work, assemblage, painting, photography, sculpture and typography.
Gardner and Millar exhibited work from their site responsive project Conway Actants at Conway Hall, Holborn. Conway Hall is one of the oldest international societies for freethinking with a rich history of radical thinking, social political activism and currently claims one of its main visions is for radical ideas to inspire social and community improvement. More in Common exhibited an assemblage of manipulated photographs of leading figures from Conway Hall’s history alongside images, assemblages and sculpture which explore spaces and structures propagated by human and non-human agency and which point to collective endeavour.


Yorkshire Year of Textile.  ( Arts Council England)
Bradford Industrial Museum 2017
now permanently exhibited at:
Biomedical Centre, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds
In the project Interweave, Deborah Gardner was commissioned as part of an Arts Council funded yearlong artistic programme to reflect, through a body of drawing, on the effects of arthritis on hands.  The research began through Deborah’s attendance at the PPI group steering committee meeting at the Leeds Biomedical Research Centre and an Ask the Researcher event, where studies were made of patients’ hands.  The drawing Together is a recognition of the support patients and members of the group give one another and the empowerment and knowledge such events can give.  Further research involved studies of pigmented microscopic images of cellular structures and the finger like protrusions of thickening synovial fluid in the body’s joints, causing swelling and inflammation.  Underpinning these concerns was a consideration of the increased risk for textile workers to develop arthritis, an examination of weave patterns and an acknowledgement of the considerable contribution of worker’s hands in the preparation of worsted yarn for weaving at what was Moorside Mills, now Bradford Industrial Museum, where the drawings were exhibited for six months in 2017. The drawings are on permanent display at Leeds Biomedical Research Centre.

Textures of Place

     Galeria Strefa Erasmusa, Lodz, Poland
Textures of Place was a two-person exhibition at the Galeria Strefa Erasmusa, Lodz, Poland with sculpture by Deborah Gardner and paintings and film by Andrea Thoma. The intention was to explore juxtapositions of visual idioms to reflect on the immediacy and distance of place. The work journeys to both imaginary and physical places, from the micro to the macro world. Textures range from the surface of water to the magnified image of the cratered surface of the far side of the moon and from the dizzying views of high-rise architecture to the miniaturised construction of a Yorkshire textile industrial landscape. The body of sculptures included structures influenced by ideas of accumulation, propagation and networks, which reference everyday objects and scales from the cellular to the cosmic.

Of Plants and Planets

6 Sep – 28 Sep 2017

This body of work formed a correspondence with paintings by Andrea Thoma, titled Of Plants and Planets. It was part of the large group exhibition In the Open at Sheffield Institute of the Arts, which centred on ideas of place, landscape and environment and complemented the conference: Cross, Multi, Inter, Trans: Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, U.K. and Ireland Biennial Conference 2017 in association with LAND2. This work explored modes of assemblage, such as cellularity, instability and interaction, the shifting environments of the local and the alien and imaginary considerations of plants in space and a lunar crater named after a botanist.