An exhibition of new and critically acclaimed work by Lucy + Jorge Orta opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) on 13 July 2013. Located in YSP’s Longside Gallery and the open air, this exhibition revolves around the theme of water, central to the Ortas’ practice, and demonstrates a shift toward floor-based sculptures, given context through works from the Clouds series, wall-hung Refuge Wear, and ceramic sculptures. The exhibition launches two new works: The Raft of Medusa and Spirits of the Huveaune – Ubelka, a life-size bronze for the open air from the Ortas’ ongoing Spirits series. The Ortas’ monumental work Cloud | Metéoros was recently unveiled at St Pancras International.
Inspired by their global research trips, the Ortas’ collaborative practice explores some of the 21st century’s most pressing issues regarding the environment and sustainable development, habitat and community, mobility, migration and climate change.
Lucy + Jorge Orta at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an opportunity to trace the development of the Ortas’ investigation of these issues and the way in which they imagine possible solutions. A major new installation, The Raft of Medusa, creates a central narrative for the exhibition, inspired by Géricault’s 1818/19 shipwreck painting Le Radeau de Meduse and Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s lakes. The work uses flotation oil drums and the humble plastic bottle as symbols for multiple ecological, economic and social meanings: readily available waste materials that are also a building block for a variety of spatial constructions including, sometimes, a home. The sculpture speaks of water and its relationship to human survival and destruction.
The Clouds sculptures, developed from the OrtaWater series, also feature in the exhibition and are the result of a research trip to Moqattam in Cairo where a whole community lives on a rubbish mountain. 70,000 people survive by sorting and recycling the city’s waste, assembling thousands of disused water bottles into strange organic structures. OrtaWater deals with the scarcity of water, issues surrounding its privatisation and corporate systems of control. Through Clouds the Ortas develop these complex lines of enquiry, imagining design prototypes for a sustainable future.
13 July – 3 November 2013 Longside Gallery and open air