Bella Easton | Liz Elton | Takumi Kato | Hannah Maybank |
Rui Matsunaga

Timely and relevant to the UK hosting COP26, Climate Change Conference this November, the exhibition SUPERNATURE, brings together five artists whose practices explore the natural world. Each responds to the environment through their own language that connects them through similarities and dissonances in materiality, past and present, scale and conceptual means. All have an inherent interest in the alchemic possibilities of using paint, dye and/or ink sourced from raw pigment, bio-waste or foraged material.

The title is appropriated from Cerrone’s Supernature, where the lyrics tell of an environmental theme, imagining a future in which the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture have “touched the creatures down below” to emerge and “take their sweet revenge” on man.

We live with anxiety about mass extinction and the death of the planet. There are many ancient stories and myths passed down through time and culture that tell of cataclysmic events having taken place that have strong parallels to current issues looming around climate change and man’s hand in enabling devastating effects on the environment.

Rising sea levels and nature’s plight in the foreground connect us to one of the oldest stories, that of the great flood. Throughout history the flood narrative has been reshaped, according to the norms of time and place. There are many versions of accounts of global deluge that exist in ancient cultures: the Great Flood of Gun-Yu, the Eridu Genesis, the Greek Deucalion, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Ark of the Bible, even suggestions that Hokusai’s famous woodcut print of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 19th Century, continues to illuminate the idea of a possible tsunami or a rogue wave of devastating effect. Fact or fiction, the flood represented a cataclysmic event and one that seems all too relevant to the reality we face today. The Babylonians (c. 1900 -1700 BC) had it in their folk memory for a very long time. The function of the story of a deity giving a human being a secret message to build an Ark, came about as an answer to the suppressed fear that deluge could happen again. The origin of the story was one of optimism, to show whatever happened, man would not be destroyed.

This exhibition is not about the flood story per se. The account is provided as a historical analogy which raises the question, between hope and destruction, where in 21st century do we place ourselves, in a period where social and cultural changes are drastically required in order to reengage with the natural world and stabilise an optimistic future beyond one’s own existence?

Duration 03 November 2021 - 22 January 2022
Times Wed/Thurs 11-6 Fri /Sat 12-6 Sun 11-4
Cost free
Venue White Conduit Projects
Address 1 White Conduit Street London N1 9EL, ,
Contact +44 (0)775 448 6068 / /

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