The Full Story
Aquatopia - 20 July-22 Sept
Editor's note: While we focus on performance, we do list major European exhibitions. For information on exhibitions in the United States, see ecoartspace and greenmuseum.
20 July 2013 - 22 September 2013
Aquatopia explores the imaginary of the ocean deep and features artists from JMW Turner and Rene Magritte to recent Turner Prize nominees Spartacus Chetwynd and The Otolith Group. Fascinating marine objects will also appear amongst the artworks like scrimshaw, glass botanical models and ancient maps.
The exhibition is a collaboration with Tate St Ives in Cornwall, where it will be shown from October 2013 to January 2014.
image: JMW Turner. Sunrise with Sea Monsters, c.1845 © Tate, London 2012
Ja Natuurlijk / Yes Naturally - How art saves the world
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the Netherlands
15 March - 16 August 2013
The international art event Yes Naturally – How art saves the world is an event initiated by Stichting Niet Normaal under the artistic direction of Ine Gevers. The key questions in Yes Naturally are What is natural, and who or what decides?; Are human beings the only ones to have a say or do animals, plants and inanimate objects also have a role to play?
The exhibition offers a tour of the natural world, including both clichéd images of romantic landscapes with waterfalls and the hard and inescapable facts of environmental degradation. It will wake us up to the reality of oil slicks and genetically modified fish, but suggest that solutions to environmental problems can be found if we are prepared to change our habits: through recycling and new kinds of cooperation we can save the planet.
Artists will propose new and unconventional approaches. Sculptures, films, installations, performances and bioart from Francis Alÿs, Jimmie Durham, Olafur Eliasson, Peter Fend, Fischli & Weiss, Natalie Jeremijenko, Atelier van Lieshout, Ursula Beiman, Marjetica Potrc, Zeger Reyers, Tinkebell, Superflex and Ai Weiwei, among others, will be on display until the end of August 2013 in the GEM/Gemeentemuseum, in the museum gardens, the duneforest and even further afield.
More than 80 artists will use this grand-scale exhibition to present partnerships between humans, nature and technology. You can design your own pet, fungi turn out to be our best friends, you can harvest the city and seagulls are quite tasty on the barbeque. But also: your smartphone is your memory, Facebook is your habitat, internet the new biotope and nanoparticles have become an integral part of our existence.
Barnraising and Bunkers
Oxford Street, Cardiff, CF24 3DT
8 May - 29 Jun 2013
Despite the desires of architects and planners, the growth of the built environment happens organically at the will of its inhabitants. This environment is a process, not a fixed state. The exhibition Barnraising and Bunkers looks at our impulse for shelter, and how we choose to build. If Barnraising epitomises collective action and co-operation, Bunkers suggest the opposite, a singular act. Barnraising and Bunkers features work by artists who engage with architectural or physical structures, through their construction and our navigation within them, around them and through them.
Artists include Uriel Orlow, Abigail Reynolds, Angharad P Jones, Rich White, Dan Griffiths, Geraint Evans, Jonathan Powell, Richard Powell.
The exhibition shows us how we often think of urban and rural being in opposition - the former synonymous with presence and the latter with absence. As our basic need to create shelter gave us our first dwellings, so these clustered to form villages and eventually cities. But urban dreams of utopian living and social cohesion do not always survive the accelerated and fragmented organic growth of the places we inhabit. When the dividing line between public spaces and private spaces is drawn so distinctly society will find ways of redrawing the line - or at least blurring its edges.
Movable Borders: Here Come the Drones!
McKenzie Pavilion, Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ
11 - 26 May 2013
The devices that once populated the creepy dystopian futures of science fiction have broken through into our daily reality.
Drones of dozens of different types are becoming a part of everyday life. They scout our public (and private) spaces, carrying out surveillance or reconnaissance in the service of nation states and as unmanned robotic tools, armed with missiles and bombs, acting in defence of national security.
According to a European commission document, drones will be commonplace in the skies within a decade. There are already many companies building these airborne, robotic spies for military and police uses, and this has "prompted concerns from civil liberties groups.
Artworks and projects are by Bureau of Inverse Technology (US & AU), Lawrence Bird (CA), Patrick Lichty (US), Dave Miller & Gavin Stewart (UK), The Force of Freedom (NL) and Dave Young (NL)
Rhôd 2013: Future Nature Culture
Melin Glonc, Drefelin, Carmarthenshire
27 May - 1 June 2013
Rhôd’s fifth annual exhibition, Future Nature Culture, invited artists to consider the future of the relationship between nature and culture.
Future Nature Culture invites artists and audiences to re-interpret and re-imagine the relationship between nature and culture, beyond exploitation and idealization, towards a future in which we acknowledge ourselves as not separate from, but an intrinsic part of, nature, and the responsibility this implies.
Artists include Maria Rebecca Ballestra (Italy), Stefhan Caddick (Powys), Rawley Clay (Vale of Glamorgan), Helen Clifford (Cardiff), Pascal-Michel Dubois (Caerphilly), Johana Hartwig (Cardiff), Jo Lathwood (Bristol), Matthew Smith (London), Fern Thomas (Swansea), Sean Vicary (Ceredigion).
Rhôd is an artist-run project exploring and promoting urban-rural dialogue. Taking its name from the sixteenth century water-mill in which it is based (Rhôd is Welsh for water-wheel) the project involves an annual exhibition held in the building and grounds of Melin Glonc, in Drefelin, Carmarthenshire. The emphasis of Rhôd is on the creation of new site-specific artworks in a variety of media, including sculpture, installation, performance, sonic art, relational /participatory art, and video.
86 Heath Mill Lane, Birmingham B9 4AR
23 March - 18 May 2013
Eastside Projects is finally revealed as a 'puppet state' or 'marionette government'. The art organisation has been taken over by little 'creatures', marking what could well be a latent global condition.
Puppet Show is populated by impersonators, impostors, and transvestites – by ultimately dubious characters that are used to criticise, debase, mock, undermine or protest in the place and voice of others. During Puppet Show, Eastside Projects has been possessed in order to come to life, and speak what cannot be said through the mouthpiece of its puppet population — reversing the role of puppet and puppeteer. Puppet Show in this way exposes the animal and the natural worlds, architecture, music, education, entertainment and death, all subjects analysed through their possible revolution.
Puppet Show includes Edwina Ashton’s ongoing work with dour gormless creatures who undertake the partial or total destruction of Eastside Projects; Simon Popper’s zoomorphically possessed painted objects; a critique of wilderness versus civilisation orchestrated by Spartacus Chetwynd; Geoffrey Farmer’s revelation of a small-scale rebellion in an abandoned institution; Heather & Ivan Morison on the construction of the self and that of natural and cultural histories; Pedro Reyes’ embodied counterfactual debate between capitalism and socialism; souvenirs from Simon Starling’s ‘expedition’ with boats and transplanted buildings; and Jirí Trnka’s meditation on the struggle for creative freedom, all set to the rhythm of Calder’s circus through the lens of Painlevé.
image above: Heather & Ivan Morison Pleasure Island (Professor Morello), 2008, photo: Ivan Morison
Eden3: Trees are the Language of Landscape
Collins and Goto Studio
Tent Gallery, Art Space and Nature
Edinburgh College of Art
Evolution House (corner of Westport and Lady Lawson Street)
Edinburgh, EH1 2LE
22 April - 25 May 2013
The Collins & Goto Studio presents an on-going series of works with trees, including Eden3 an installation of trees and technology that provide an experience of photosynthesis through sound, and Caledonia Tomorrow a series of expeditions and related inquiries about specific forests.
There is an Artists' Talk on 16 May, 4:00 - 6:00pm. Tim Collins and Reiko Goto will host an open discussion about their work and the role of art in relationship to a changing environment.
Ecologies of Value
Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB
26 January - 7 April 2013
John Newling's works explore the natural world and the social and economic systems of society, such as money or religion. He belongs to a generation of artists whose work evolved from Conceptual Art, Land Art and Arte Povera – art movements occurring during the 1960s, that placed emphasis on the concept, process and site of the work, alongside material and aesthetic properties. Ecologies of Value is Newling’s first major survey exhibition and presents a selection of his work from the 1970s to the present day.
The first section of the exhibition plays with ideas relating to money and religion. The second section features new artworks inspired by the natural world and its ecological systems.
John Newling, An Eclipse between Coin and Leaf (Jersey Kale) 2011-12. Courtesy of the artist, from nottinghamcontemporary.org
Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB
26 January - 7 April 2013
Piero Gilardi was an influential figure in the development of Arte Povera (poor art) in Italy in the late 1960s centred in Turin. From the outset, he was concerned with creating social relations through art. Collaborative Effects tracks Gilardi’s approach to collaboration within and outside the art world over a 22-year period from 1963 to 1985 through his interactive sculptures and his creative work with social and political movements. It brings both these stories up-to-date through the inclusion of recent sculptures and work relating to anti-austerity and environmental campaigns in Italy.
Collaborative Effects reveals the significant role Gilardi played in the development of the Italian and international avant garde of the late 1960s and 70s. It also reveals him as an important precursor of participatory and socially-engaged art practices today.
The exhibition begins with Gilardi’s early sculpture – interactive sculptures based on natural motifs, including his celebrated Nature Carpets. Gilardi’s Nature Carpets are highly colourful, realistic sculptures of slices of nature made from carved and painted foam.
image: Piero Gilardi, Vestito natura-Anguria, 1967.
Games People Play
Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW)
Haldon Forest, near Exeter, Devon
6 October 2012 – 24 February 2013
CCANW’s year-long Games People Play programme will explore what games can tell us about ‘human nature’, and how a deeper understanding of the advantages of cooperation can help us all to address the needs of the planet.
Indoors, the exhibitions will be presented in two halves. The first will show a selection of early board games which were intended as guides to moral improvement or general knowledge. It will include documentation of unusual local games, past and present. The second half will focus on photography and video by contemporary artists which use sporting imagery, and will focus on the new generation of video games designed to address social and environmental challenges.
Both halves will include participatory and interactive work including performances of H.G.Wells’ ‘Little Wars’ and Guy Debord’s ‘The Game of War’, and demonstrations of cooperative games of the 1970s.
Outside, games will be devised and played in a ‘playground’ area in front of CCANW’s building, along the trails and in the wider forest environment.
Five villages surrounding Haldon will be working with The Moveable Feast Workshop Company, inventing new games as well as researching the heritage of local games. Additional activities include Fluxolympics–inspired and Paralympics events and a letterboxing challenge on Haldon similar to that played on Dartmoor.
Biodiversity and interdependence will also be explored through activities led by artists and wildlife experts in Haldon Forest, a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the presence of birds of prey, Nightjars and 30 species of butterfly.
The title of the programme takes its name from Eric Berne’s book ‘Games People Play’, first published in 1964.
Frozen Relic: Arctic Works
Architectural Association Gallery and Front Members' Room,
36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES
12 January - 9 February 2013
Frozen Relic: Arctic Works is a series of re-fabricated real world scenarios by designer/makers ScanLAB Projects. Using millimetre perfect 3D scanning technology ScanLAB stage and capture transitory moments on location across the world. In the Frozen Relic: Arctic Works series these moments are digitally archived and reproduce out of context and out of time.
Whilst working with Cambridge University aboard the Greenpeace Icebreaker ‘The Arctic Sunrise’, ScanLab documented a series of ice floes in the Fram Strait North West of Svalbard, Norway. During the course of two expeditions to the Arctic the team captured a total of 26 floes in forensic detail, mapping their surfaces, analysing core samples of the ice and mapping their drift through the fluxing ice pack.
Frozen Relic: Arctic Works temporarily recreates this landscape in the AA Gallery in its natural material - frozen saltwater. Each piece is a digitally fabricated scale replica of the original ice floe which was 3D scanned from above and documented using underwater sonar from below. The completed digital survey model is used to guide a cnc robotic arm, which carves the moulds in which each replica is cast. The replicas float in the Gallery space, with eye level replacing sea level.
Alongside the exhibition are:
Lecture - 23 January, 6:00pm
ScanLAB Projects: Experiments in Observation & Capture
Matt Shaw and Will Trossell of ScanLAB
Symposium - 2 February, 12:00 - 4:00pm
Frozen Relic & Other Absent Landscapes.
Curated by Saif Osmani
The Stephen Lawrence Gallery
Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS
21 January - 28 February 2013
This multi-disciplinary showcase examines how bamboo has been appropriated in a context of space, in place-making and within the process of establishing national boundaries. Each project explores cross-cultural interaction and linkages forged through material and spatial syntax in the formation of cultural codes and future identities across borderlines.
Parallel Horizons stems from Baasher Ghor / Bamboo House, an international collaborative platform bringing together 35 practitioners from four continents including architects, artists, designers, sculptors, photographers and oral historians with the aim of rediscovering stories and narratives misplaced through human migration and interpolation.
Artists and collaborators include:
Muhammed Ahmedullah, Victor Angelo, Lee Borthwick, Wang Wen-Chih, Hilde A. Danielsen, Lee Dalby, Marcus Fearon, Steven Follen, Benjamin Garcia Saxe, Atar Hadari, Anna Heringer, Lisa Hudson, Fatima Hussain, Zahra Hussain, Samiul Kamal-Uddin, Faridha A. Karim, Ruhimunnessa Khanom Karim, Asif Khan, Zia-Uddin Khan, Julia King, Hsinyi Ku, Peter Kyte, Rebecca Lucraft, Akinori Matsumoto, Rosa Nguyen, Saif Osmani, Larisa Sarajlija, Sba Shaikh, Julia Thompson, Chris Wright, Maria Zerguine.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
curated by Bergit Arends and Greg Hilty
2 November 2012 – 13 January 2013
This exhibition brings together work by twelve artists who have traveled to and spent time in the Galápagos archipelago through a residency programme initiated in 2007. Each artist found the experience transformative for their artistic practice and their life.
Collectively they demonstrate considerable variety of approach and discipline within the visual arts, ranging across film-making, video, installation, painting, sculpture, photography, animation, illustration and sound. The artists also brought to the project, and developed during it, considerable skills of communication and interaction with scientists, tourists, and local inhabitants of the Galápagos, allowing them to explore subjects of scientific or social interest consistent with their artistic concerns.
Artists include Jyll Bradley, Paulo Catrica, Filipa César, Marcus Coates, Dorothy Cross (with actor Fiona Shaw), Alexis Deacon, Jeremy Deller, Tania Kovats, Kaffe Matthews, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt), Alison Turnbull.
photo: Marcus Coates
Here are reviews of Documenta 13, the five-yearly international exhibition, curated this year by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev:
Adrian Searle in the Guardian
Roberta Smith in the New York Times: 'Art show as unruly Organism'
Liz Brown in the Paris Review:
'Materiality is one of those words that comes up all the time in contemporary art, and at the Ottoneum musuem it really was everywhere: seeds, water, bark, dirt, fossil fuel. Toril Johannessen’s looming magic lantern ran on petroleum. Claire Pentecost had created 'soil-erg,' an alternative currency, out of compost. The stacked ingots of dried mud didn’t seem that crazy considering that only that afternoon Spain’s government had requested a hundred billion euros from the EU to stay solvent.'
Shiela MacGregor on AxisWeb:
Apples and dogs feature in this year's exhibition.. appearing in 'a series of paintings of apples by Korbinian Aigner, a Bavarian village pastor who created a new strain of apple while imprisoned in Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps and went on to document various kinds of apple and pear in 900 postcard-sized paintings, all observed, standardised and numbered with conceptualist rigour.'
'Anna Maria Maiolino’s piece in the Auepark was similarly disconcerting. The Brazilian artist has filled a small house on the edge of the Auepark with plants and smoothly coiled clay and has supplemented the birdsong round about with the more exotic sound of birds from her South American homeland. From that point on, all birdsong in the park seemed exaggerated, as if a chorus had been staged for the particular benefit of visitors.'
Documenta 13 is impressive in its scope. Yet it left me with a feeling of unease. How big is the carbon footprint of an exhibition on this scale? And do the event’s extraordinarily high production values not blunt its critical edge? Can an exhibition bank-rolled by so many state institutions all over the world, not to mention an unedifying collection of corporate sponsors, ever really bite the hand that feeds it?'
Pertaining to Things Natural…
The Chelsea Physic Garden, London
10 July – 31 October 2012
This outdoor sculpture exhibition presents monumental sculptural works, ephemeral land art projects and delicate interventions by over twenty leading artists.
Curated by David Worthington, Vice President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Pertaining to Things Natural… takes its name from the 17th century definition of ‘physic’ and is a reminder of the Physic Garden’s founding mission as a place for the study of useful plants, especially those used in medicines.
The exhibition takes place throughout the entire site, with works installed in greenhouses, the café, the entrance lobby and the composting area, as well as the garden itself.
Artists: Owen Bullett, James Capper, Annie Cattrell, Jo Coupe, Joe Currie, Judith Dean, Chris Drury, Tessa Farmer, James P Graham, Greyworld, Tim Knowles, Tania Kovats, Keith Rand, Peter Randall-Page, William Peers, Michael Shaw, Cathy Ward & Eric Wright, Julian Wild, Hugo Wilson and David Worthington.
image: INTAKE by Joe Currie
The Future’s Not What It Used To Be
group exhibition, curated by Deborah Smith
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Rd, Canton, Cardiff CF5 1QE
21 September - 4 November 2012
The Future’s Not What It Used To Be is an exhibition of ten international artists who explore the concepts of past, present and future. Using a range of media, the artists present multiple perspectives of their changing landscape, helping viewers to define and redefine their own relationships to the world.
Susan Hiller, Vernon Ah Kee and Tony Albert give voice to indigenous cultures in the hope that we learn from the past; Marjetica Portc and Monika Sosnowska’s architectural and sculptural works investigate the poetics and politics of space; Amie Siegel and Jeremy Millar explore how events in history resonate with our understanding and experience of the present; Patricia Piccinini engages us with the changing nature of our environment; Darren Almond and Matt Bryans mark, manipulate and erase time.
image: Tony Albert, Be Deadly / Bydd Wych, 2011 – 2012, poster print
Inverness Highland Museum
25 August - 27 October 2012
Annie Cattrell trained as a sculptor and her work is informed by her interest in neuroscience, anatomy and meteorology, the fusion between science and art. She works in a variety of media but is drawn to glass because of its transparency and through it she captures the rhythms of the natural world, moments in time, fleeting things, clouds on a particular day, the delicacy of the human lung.
Works on display include Conditions which comprises twelve individual sculptures, representing a variety of cloud types in difference sky strata between January to December in and around the UK and Currents which depicts the ever-changing surface of the sea and its response to wind intensity from above and undercurrent movement from below.
The human organ of oxygen, the lungs, was produced by blowing air into molten borosilicate glass normally used for making laboratory test tubes to form the intricate dendritic formation of the human lungs.
editors' note:Annie contributed to our metaphors for sustainability with the Fetch (of a wave; to collect).
image: courtesy of
Helen Stratford - A Day With a Duck
Babylon Gallery, Waterside
Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4AU
1 September - 7 October 2012
In June, artist and architect Helen Stratford spent a day with a Muscovy duck on Ely’s Riverside researching how public areas are shared between human and duck. The day formed a starting point for conversations and encounters with city residents, visitors, tourists and workers whose paths interact with the public spaces that adjoin the riverside.
Ely is in the midst of change - currently undergoing a masterplanning process of ‘planned growth’ to ‘maintain the city’s unique identity.’
In contrast, A Day With A Duck explores alternate and unplanned ways through which places are generated.
There is a public programme of interactive live-art events in collaboration with invited artists, local people and wildlife:
15 September: a day long series of Live Art events will take over areas of Ely. The events include One Minute Birdwatching by Holly Rumble and Ring This Bell by Townley and Bradby. The public is invited to bring along Super 8 duck related footage to a Live Duck Shoot by Helen Stratford and Cambridge Super 8 group outside Babylon Gallery. Special guest, Avril Hayter-Smith: Ely's Official Town Crier, will open the day with The Duck Proclamation.
On 6 October there is a gallery screening and discussion.
Rona Lee: That Oceanic Feeling
John Hansard Gallery, Southampton
28 August - 13 October 2012
The exhibition That Oceanic Feeling brings together new works in different media by British artist Rona Lee, developed in dialogue with geoscientists at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, whose research involves mapping the deep sea, the least understood and accessible environment on the planet.
That Oceanic Feeling explores our complex symbolic relationship to this emergent political and economic landscape asking what it might mean to look into this otherwise dark space.
The John Hansard Gallery will host a free, one-day symposium exploring related ideas on 13 October.
Orchard : Gerry Loose & Donald Urquhart
Scottish Poetry Library
Edinburgh Art Festival
2 August - 29 September 2012
The poetic names of older varieties of apple trees, many of which are now endangered - such as Embroidered Apple, Hoary Morning and Swan’s Egg - are the basis for a new set of collaborative works by the poet Gerry Loose and the artist Donald Urquhart.
Starting with a selection of Victorian engravings, Loose has added a text inspired by old descriptions of apples grown in Scotland. Each annotated engraving is set alongside a block of colour by Urquhart, drawn from a spectrum of the tones of fully ripe fruit.
Orchard is simultaneously a lament for the loss of varieties and a celebration of that rich variety.
Orchard: Gerry Loose & Donald Urquhart in conversation
9 August 2012
Poet Gerry Loose and artist Donald Urquhart discuss their exhibition Orchard and explore their collaborative process.
Unseen Photo Fair
Unseen Gallery, at the Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
19 - 23 September
Môr Plastig is Welsh for 'plastic sea' and is a photographic study of plastic objects washed up on a small beach, Cwm Gwyllog, in North Pembrokeshire, Wales. Photographs from the series will be exhibited by the Unseen Gallery, Amsterdam, at their Photo Fair.
'Pertaining to Things Natural...' at the John Martin Gallery
38 Albemarle street, London W1S 4JG
6 - 15 September 2012
The gallery exhibition brings together related drawings, paintings and sculpture by artists taking part in Pertaining to Things Natural at the Chelsea Physic Garden.
Artists exhibiting: Owen Bullett, James Capper, Annie Cattrell, Joe Currie, Judith Dean, Chris Drury, Tessa Farmer, James P Graham, Tim Knowles, Tania Kovats, Keith Rand, Peter Randall - Page, William Peers, Michael Shaw, Cathy Ward & Eric Wright, Julian Wild, Hugo Wilson, David Worthington.
image: SKYFIELDS by Cathy Ward and Eric Wright
Espace Fondation EDF
6, rue Recarnier
4 May - 16 September 2012
This Cape Farewell exhibition encompasses biodiversity, atmospherics and oceanography — earth, wind and sea. Five artists who have worked with climate scientists exhibit their artworks alongside the scientific enquiry.
The pairings are:
artists Lucy + Jorge Orta with Amazonian Biodiversity Research / ECI
artist Annie Cattrell with wave technology from Heriot-Watt University, Orkney
artist Erika Blumenfeld with
Bio Luminescence / Dr Michael Latz
artist David Buckland
Marine Biology with Dr Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez
artists HeHe with Jean-Marc Chomaz / Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
see Annie Cattrell's metaphor for sustainability on Ashdenizen .
Poetry, Language, Code and Games Artists Play
Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge
19 - 29 June & 3 - 12 July 2012
This exhibition, opening in the week of the centenary of Alan Turing's birth, will focus on the interrelationship of text code and visual image. Artists featured include John Cayley, Paolo Cirio, and Jacques Donguy, Eduardo Kac, William Latham, Liliane Lijn, Alessandro Ludovico, heath bunting.
Two artists' work connects with biological 'coding'.
Eduardo Kac shows a new work, CODA, the culmination of a series called Edunia, within which Kac hybridised his own DNA with plant DNA, to form a new transgenic, 'bioart', work. Kac will also display a work-in-progress which connects bio-conductive ink, silk-screening, MBED circuits and a sound score developed with Dr Rob Toulson of the Anglia Ruskin CoDE Research centre.
Edward Burtynsky: OIL
The Photographers' Gallery
16 - 18 Ramillies Street,
19 May - 1 July 2012
"In 1997 I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany. It occurred to me that the vast, human-altered landscapes that I pursued and photographed for over twenty years were only made possible by the discovery of oil…"
- Edward Burtynsky
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky chronicles the effects of oil and reveals the rarely seen mechanics of its production and distribution.
This exhibition shows three sections from Burtynsky’s series OIL: Extraction and Refinement, Transportation and Motor Culture and The End of Oil. The works depict landscapes scarred by the extraction of oil, and the cities and suburban sprawl defined by its use. He also eloquently addresses the coming end of oil, as we face its rising cost and dwindling availability.
From aerial views of oil fields and highways ribboning across the landscape, to derelict oil derricks and mammoth oil-tanker shipbreaking operations, the exhibition confronts the viewer with the evidence of dependence on this finite resource.
photo: Shipbreaking #13, Chitagong, Bangladesh, © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier, Toronto
School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX
4 May - 1 July 2012
The Galápagos archipelago uniquely exemplifies the delicate tension between a pristine environment and human curiosity and intervention. Over 5 years, 12 artists visited these islands returning home with film footage, drawings, photographs, sculptures, sounds and imaginings. The resulting exhibition at Liverpool's the Bluecoat offers an insight into the cultural reality, the human stories and the living laboratory of Galápagos.
Artists featured are: Jyll Bradley, Paulo Catrica, Filipa César, Marcus Coates, Dorothy Cross (with actor Fiona Shaw), Alexis Deacon, Jeremy Deller, Tania Kovats, Kaffe Matthews, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and Alison Turnbull.
The exhibition is curated by Bergit Arends, curator of contemporary arts at the Natural History Museum, London, and Greg Hilty, curatorial director at the Lisson Gallery, London; it is produced by Angela McSherry.
photo: Paulo Catrica, Galápagos 2010
Here on the Directory and on Ashdenizen, Alison Turnbull offered a metaphor for sustainability.
Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6LA
18 April - 26 May 2012
kennardphillipps is an artist collaboration forged between Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps during the build-up to the US/UK invasion of Iraq in 2002. The two artists work together to create pieces that confront political and corporate power in solidarity with the social movements that form in resistance against state and commercial oppression. Each piece is adapted to exist in various environments: in galleries, on the street, for publication in print and on the internet.
Occupy Everything centres on their work relating to the global protests and occupations which were widespread in 2011, with a large proportion of it having been already used on the street. Photographs and documentation showing the work in action will also be exhibited.
John Moores University, Liverpool
8 March - 26 April 2012
Cape Farewell's U-N-F-O-L-D exhibition features the work of twenty-five artists who have participated in the Cape Farewell expeditions in 2007 and 2008 to the High Arctic and in 2009 to the Andes.
The exhibition will overlap with Cape Farewell's university shortcourse/uk programme. shourcourse/uk provides unconventional psycho-geographic tours inquiring the role of ecology and environment in the education of contemporary artists.
image: Nathan Gallagher
Cape Farewell & University College Falmouth
Core Building, Eden Project, Cornwall
2 - 12 April 2012
HEVVA! HEVVA! showcases artwork by 21 emerging artists and designers from across University College Falmouth. This exhibition represents their creative response to three days' expeditions made around the landscapes of Cornwall as part of Cape Farewell’s SHORTCOURSE/UK.
Percy Craft, Hevva! Hevva!, 1887
courtesy Cape Farewell
The title, HEVVA! HEVVA!, encapsulates the spirit of the journey the party made in an attempt to engage with the localised effects of climate change. The Cornish word 'hevva' recalls the roar once heard from the cliffs of Cornwall where a 'huer' on spotting a shoal of pilchards bluing the sea would call loudly to the fishermen.
An exclamation, a halloo from way off, but, too, a premonitory warning cry, HEVVA! HEVVA! frames a collection of artworks, text and performance that share a common genesis in place and environment, which in chorus looks to communicate an urgent message.
The three days of journeying encouraged a psycho-geographical approach to investigating human relationships with both urban and natural landscapes. At each leg of the expedition students were joined by a number of specially invited artists, geographers, oceanographers and botanists.
Without Boats, Dreams Dry Up
The Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art
16 John Islip Street
London SW1P 4JU
24 February - 29 March
An exhibition of 20 emerging artists and designers from Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art.
All artists were participants in Cape Farewell's SHORTCOURSE/UK, a 3-day urban expedition in London in October 2011 led by a team of artists, scientists and academics.
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)
Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA
19 January - 10 March
Social Fabric focuses on the textile industry and its relation to capital, labour, colonialism, international trade and radical politics. The exhibition examines the social and economic role of textiles, particularly in India.
Its starting point are works by artists Alice Creischer about the circulation of global commodities and by Sudhir Patwardhan who records the impact of the textile industry on Mumbai. Other artists are Celine Condorelli, Archana Hande, Raqs Media Collective, and Andreas Siekmann.
The exhibition refers to Karl Marx's account of boom and bust in the industry and its effects on workers in Britain and India. The craze for Indian Chintz caused Spitalfields weavers to protest in 1719, and a century later the restrictions on imports devastated India's textile industry.
photo: Apparatus for the Osmotic Compensation of the Pressure of Wealth during the Contemplation of Poverty, by Alice Creischer. photo by Thierry Bal
LIFT and ArtsAdmin
7 February - 4 March, 2012
The London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) partnered with Artsadmin as part of the IMAGINE 2020 network to commission and present a new public art work in central London by artist Michael Pinsky that responds to climate change.
Plunge by Michael Pinsky
The piece was launched 7 February 2012 and continues through 4 March.
Plunge is a set of 3 blue led-light rings placed on the Seven Dials Sundial Pillar, the Duke of York Column and the Paternoster Square Column. Each indicates the water level of the Thames, in one thousand years, should climate change go unchecked.
123 Kennington Rd, London SE11 6SF
13 January - 19 February
The fear of place and the manifestation of this in contemporary art is the territory for TOPOPHOBIA. As an anxiety disorder, this phobia is understood as an irrational dread of certain places or situations, yet, considered as a cultural phenomenon, topophobia connects us to the existential human question of how each of us finds our place in the world. The exhibition and related publication take a look at the representation of place and space as threatened or threatening.
The artists are Anne Eggebert, Matthias Einhoff, David Ferrando Giraut, Polly Gould, Marja Helander, Uta Kogelsberger, Almut Rink, Abigail Reynolds, Emily Speed and Louise K Wilson.
A Conversation Between Trees
Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW)
Haldon Forest, near Exeter, Devon
22 October 2011 - 29 January 2012
The exhibition by Active Ingredient, following their residency at CCANW, reveals the invisible forces at play in forests, displayed as a series of data maps generated live in the gallery space. Large video projections will show trees from Brazil and the UK ‘in conversation’ - revealing the light, colour and climate in the canopy of trees, changing over time.
Visualisation looking up at the canopy of a
mango tree in the Mata Atlantica, Brazil
Environmental sensors and mobile phones are placed in the canopy of trees in each of the forests and data sent to the gallery via a mobile phone. A machine also interprets the scientific data, scorching sheets of paper with circular graphs that tell the story of 70 years of climate and environmental change.
At the Opening, Refreshments. Active Ingredient discuss the exhibition with Carlo Buontempo, Senior Climate Change Consultant at the Met Office.
Sammy Ofer Wing, National Maritime Museum, London
14 July 2011 – 13 January 2012
Based on United Visual Artists' (UVA) creative director Matt Clark's experience of Cape Farewell's 2010 Expedition to Svalbard, the exhibition uses a combination of sound, light and sculptural forms to create an abstracted Arctic landscape.
Created as a monument to the Arctic past, set 100 years into the future, the installation conveys the scale, beauty and fragility of the Arctic.
Ghosts of Gone Birds
Rochelle School, Arnold Circus
Shoreditch, London E2 7ES
2 - 23 November 2011
Ghosts of Gone Birds features over 200 new works from artists as diverse as Sir Peter Blake, Ralph Steadman, Charming Baker, Rob Ryan and Kai & Sunny. Each of the 120 artists, writers and musicians has adopted an extinct species.
The exhibition is intended to bring artistic life back to the bird species that have been lost, and to raise money for BirdLife International's Preventing Extinctions programme.
In addition to the visual arts, there is live printing, talks, readings and performances. There is a series of Ghosts stories that shed light on the conservation work being done around the world to prevent any further species extinctions.
This is the London phase of an international project.
Autoconstrucción: The Optimistic Failure of a Simultaneous Promise
Modern Art Oxford
to 20 November 2011
Modern Art Oxford presents a major exhibition of new work by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. The artist is best known for his long-standing project, Autoconstrucción, in which he takes inspiration from the eclectic and improvisatory architecture of his childhood home in the area of Pedregales de Coyoacán, Mexico City.
Autoconstrucción operates as a metaphor for individual identity and the identity of a place existing in a state of flux. Cruzvillegas’ project is informed by ideas of ‘survival economics’ – how scarceness can lead to recycling and solidarity in opposition to consumption and individualism.
Over the last year, Cruzvillegas has explored aspects of Oxford and its history, including associations with science, literature, magic, ethnography, imperialism and politics to propose works that combine aspects of the local with his highly personal and poetic visual language.
See Exhibitions archive for earlier exhibitions we've listed.