Orleans House Gallery’s thought-provoking exhibition and artistic research programme Remember the Future explores our relationship with nature in light of the global ecological crisis, creating a powerful interdisciplinary exhibition with a series of captivating and reflective works. Following renowned activist artists Ackroyd & Harvey’s residency, Bryony Benge-Abbott will be in residence from 20th July – 19th September and Vicky Long & Eloise Moody will follow from 3rd August – 3rd October. These residencies see artists research the environment using their own unique creatives lenses.
During their residencies, the artists will set up studio-like spaces in the historic riverside Richmond gallery and its wild urban woodland to research the relationship we have with the environment and use art to investigate how we can all participate in repairing it. The artists will aim to create a body of visual research that will be shared with audiences.
Bryony Benge-Abbott will explore how drawing nature can evoke a deep sense of connection with our surroundings, particularly when practising in nature itself. By drawing in the grounds of Orleans House Gallery, Benge-Abbott will play with the idea of ‘wild drawing with nature’, and will also encourage visitors to draw the environment they see around them as they explore the grounds. Benge-Abbott’s works in the exhibition include Wood Church, which sees the titular village near Hells Wood depicted on a ‘canvas’ of reclaimed wood sourced from the local Kent forest.
Vicky Long & Eloise Moody’s research will examine the role that humans play in the ecosystem and what legacy we are leaving. By exploring the gallery’s collections and history, Long & Moody will look at the actions past artists and collectors have taken, and what the future impact of our actions might be. Long & Moody’s interactive and contemplative Colourfield can be seen in the Octagon Room. Colourfield gives visitors the opportunity to sit on bright deck chairs and reflect on the environment they can see through the window; using a small viewfinder, they can invent a colour based on what they see and feel, without using any traditional colour names. This immersive piece connects with the heritage of the site, the stunning views of the grounds and allows visitors to become part of the artwork.
The exhibition also features artworks including one of Ackroyd & Harvey’s renowned grown grass artworks, which is a living piece grown from grass seedlings that reminds us of the importance of plants for our atmosphere. The piece is entitled Iggy Fox after the late wildlife biologist and animal conservationist. Also displayed is their thought-provoking film The Ecocide Trial, a ‘mock trial’ based on the events of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster and the Unconventional tar sands extraction in Alberta. Up-and-coming artist Nestor Pestana’s works include Plumial Space, where the audience is invited to experience simulations of their microbial plumes – the microbes that are released from the human body in their millions every hour.
Nestor Pestana is in residency in the Orleans House Gallery grounds until 14th November, exploring how human communities can engage with the wider ecosystem with empathy and a sense of responsibility towards otherness.
Running alongside the exhibition will be a series of exciting events a Late, workshops, family activities and talks.
For more information visit https://www.orleanshousegallery.org
Photo Credit: Cristina Schek