future imaginings of place and culture
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org | 07817906204
Deborah Gardner | D.A.Gardner@leeds.ac.uk | https://deborahgardner.co.uk/
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.