against Nature, PrintMare 2
curated by Finlay Taylor
This exhibition looked at some conditions of our current understandings of geography, or the geo-graphical, natural histories and landscapes. Within this, positions to political and ethical notions of our planet as a natural habitat that seem unavoidable when picturing anything we may have traditionally termed 'landscape' are explored.
A situation has arisen where scientific notions for example are impossible to divorce from the ideas and views presented.
Tim O’Rileys books inspect the moon, our notions of it, and gaze towards it from the position of earths surface. As well as our efforts to draw it, photograph it, film it and reach it. His books also track our desire to reach it and the cultural objects that surround those missions.
Within this context the investigation focuses on looking at nature in art and brings together some works to explore the recurrence of natural motifs such as mountains, plants and the moon. This collection of artist’s works also concentrates on work that uses print. Printed ideas that examine the artists concerns, print used as a peculiarity by the makers to address its audiences and use a history of the medias developments that sustains testing and invention, from books to stamping. Here subtle innovations and applications are utilized to great effect to pry open some complexities of looking at nature and print
The title perhaps at first seems as though the thoughts or works are in opposition or antagonistic towards a notion of nature. The intention is to cause a question about looking, look at these imaginings or images ‘against nature’, how do they compare? What do they propose or what problems are provoked? So the initial stance is not literal.
Sarah Bodman’s book presents texts about the genetic modification of plants, mostly used for agricultural crops, these are bound together with magazine images of flowering plants that over the centuries have been hybridized. The Desires humans have to change and control our habitats from gardens to essential foods are strong as with the case of feeding ourselves, it is urgent.
Bob Matthews work The Future also addresses gardens and shared spaces referencing communal living, shared plots of land and cultural ideals often out of the mainstream of European social systems. Matthews large tie dye canvases printed over-printed with linocut designs or abstract plans are supported by red bamboo poles strapped together. These works seemingly offer bold intentions for a future that looks to the past for reference and guidance.
Exhibition artists include: Judith Goddard, Franz Ackermann, Helen Chadwick, Oona Grimes, Mark Harris, Bob Matthews,Tim O’Riley, Nicky Coutts, Jo Stockham, Kate Scrivener, Dan Howard-Birt, Mike Marshall, Katsushika Hokusai, Jasone Miranda Bilbao, Michael Landy, Jo Love, Adam Gillam, Paul Coldwell, Serena Korda, Susan Johanknecht, Rebecca Salter, Dunhill & O’Brien, David Cross and Ian Brown.