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. She has imagined her work and New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris.
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 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?
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. She has imagined her work and New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris
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
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.
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.