18 Nov 2023 — 13 Apr 2024
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange
STORM WARNING: WHAT DOES CLIMATE CHANGE MEAN FOR COASTAL COMMUNITIES?
Storm Warning is a collaboration between Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, and Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, which seeks to raise awareness of the impact of the climate crisis on coastal communities in Mount’s Bay, and South Essex.
It includes innovative artworks and engagement projects by Angela YT Chan, Rebecca Chesney with Lubaina Himid, Joey Holder, Andre Kong, Harun Morrison, Ellie Robinson-Carter, Something & Son, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, and David Watkins. New commissions are presented simultaneously at each venue, exploring issues facing the two coastlines, alongside research into nature-based solutions that are relevant locally and resonate more widely.
“The artists featured in this exhibition take a range of approaches, working with ecologists, activists, citizen scientists, marine biologists, and those working in the fishing industry. The resulting works range from the playful and immersive to projects which foreground the role artists can play as activists and strategists. We hope this exhibition will not just show the impact of the climate crisis on our locations but also highlight the change we can each make as individuals,” said James Green, Director Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Katharine Stout, Director, Focal Point Gallery.
The scale of the climate crisis and the change that needs to happen to counteract its impact often seems overwhelming and out of reach to individuals, so each gallery is presenting a diverse range of artworks and resources that aim to inform and inspire. The two galleries share the ambition to discover the local impact of climate change and highlight ways in which we can all take action to protect our environments.
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Focal Point Gallery are each located in coastal towns with important marine environments, and with dual economies of tourism and fishing. They each serve communities living through the cost-of-living crisis, alongside the pending threat of rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns. Part of this initiative is to highlight work already taking place in Cornwall by environmental organisations such as Clean Ocean Sailing, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Mounts Bay Marine Group, Plastic Free Penzance, and Surfers Against Sewage.
Made possible with support from Art Fund through Reimagine grants.
Showing across both Newlyn Art Gallery, and The Exchange, Penzance
And at Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea
4 Oct 2023 – 6 Jan 2024
Proudly supported by Waterhaul, transforming plastic from our coastline into purposeful products that inspire action.
See Read More below for info on each of the artists.
Please note: We will be open up to and including Sat 23 Dec as usual, then closed Sun 24, Mon 25, Tue 26 Dec
See VISIT for more details.
About the artists:
Angela YT Chan is an independent researcher, curator, and artist specialising in climate change. Her work with videos, illustration, workshops, and data examines how colonial histories of climate change shape systems of power, technologies, ecologies, and today’s climate framings. She co-directs the London Science Fiction Research Community and is an educator (games, fine art). Chan is also a research consultant, having worked in international climate and cultural policy and on climate and sustainability projects for major cultural institutions.
Rebecca Chesney’s work is concerned with how we perceive land: how we romanticise, translate, and define it. Chesney looks at how politics, ownership, management, and commercial value all influence our surroundings and have made extensive investigations into the impact of human activities on nature and the environment. Weather, water quality, air pollution, land ownership and management, sea level rise, habitat loss and decline of species are all subjects her work continues to examine, taking the form of installations, interventions, habitat creation, drawings, maps and walks. Exploring the blurred boundaries between science and folklore, her work is also concerned with how our understanding of nature is fed by a confused mix of truth and fiction.
Commissions include Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Compton Verney, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Grizedale Arts, the Bluecoat and Full of Noises. Awards include a Gasworks International Fellowship to CONA in Mumbai, India and a Lucas Artist Fellowship to Montalvo Arts Centre in California, USA. Recent works include a collaboration with artist Lubaina Himid for TONSPUR (Austria) to create an 8-channel sound installation and series of posters exhibited in Vienna city centre; a residency and solo show at Astley Hall in Lancashire (funded by Arts Council England and Chorley Borough Council); and a 600m² wildflower planting scheme in the town of Church (east Lancashire) for Super Slow Way.
Andre Kong is an artist and award-winning architect. His intersectional practice explores the impact of visual drama in space, but without an impact on the planet; creating ephemeral structures that are fully circular, sourcing reclaimed materials with an afterlife plan. Kong studied at the University of Edinburgh and Royal College of Art before registering as an architect with the ARB. He also holds an MSc in Construction Project Management from Bayes Business School. Andre founded andre kong studio in 2021 and more than nine years of experience in developing and leading ambitious projects across all scales and sectors for international practices including Heatherwick Studio, where he is a part-time Senior Associate. Andre has previously tutored at the Bartlett UCL, Oxford Brookes University, and is currently a mentor on the Accelerate – Open City programme, Freehold LGBT mentorship scheme and PoC in Architecture network. andrekong.com
Joey Holder is an artist whose work raises philosophical questions of our universe and things yet unknown, regarding the future of science, medicine, biology, and human-machine interactions. Working with scientific and technical experts she makes immersive, multimedia installations that explore the limits of the human, and how we experience non-human, natural and technological forms. Her artwork is fuelled by continued dialogue and collaborations with researchers and practitioners from varied fields. She creates fictional worlds and constructed environments that respond directly to contemporary, real-world events. Holder has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, including the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Athens Biennale, Design Museum, Moscow Biennale, Transmediale & Venice Biennale. She is the Director of SPUR an online platform which supports digital practice, and the Director of Chaos Magic, an arts project space in Nottingham.
Harun Morrison is an artist and writer whose work often employs collaborative processes. His practice spans spatial design, text, video and sound. He is currently an associate artist with Greenpeace UK. Since 2006, Harun has collaborated with Helen Walker as part of the collective practice They Are Here. Harun has recently contributed to the group exhibition Chronic Hunger, Chronic Desire in Timișoara, Romania, as part of the European Capital of Culture 2023 programme. Solo exhibitions in the last few years include, Dolphin Head Mountain at the Horniman Museum, London (2022-23) and Experiments with Everyday Objects, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, (2021). Harun continues to develop and repair a garden for Mind Sheffield, a mental health support service, as part of the Arts Catalyst research project, Emergent Ecologies, and is producing an evolving publication, Environmental Justice Questions commissioned by Mossutställningar and supported by V&A Dundee, which he continues to circulate.
@harunishere | harunmorrison.net
Ellie Robinson-Carter is a specialist in using creative practice to enable people living with dementia and intergenerational groups to connect to themselves and others around them, building belonging, fostering empathy, and a dementia-friendly generation. Ellie founded The Photobook Project in 2015, as a vehicle to engage the groups she works with through photography, and other creative activities, such as poetry and cyanotypes. It has been delivered with communities around the world, including the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Japan, and the UK. The project invites people living with dementia and intergenerational groups to document their experiences using recyclable, single-use cameras while they go on walks and spend time together. The work created is presented in photobooks and exhibitions, providing self-evidence of living well with dementia, increasing self-confidence, feelings of connectivity and ownership. The deepening of individuals relationship with nature plays an intrinsic part in this.
(The cameras are being recycled after the project.)
In partnership with national charity Sensory Trust, this intergenerational project will bring together dementia-friendly Paul Nature Group and children from Newlyn Primary School to capture their experience of coastal communities. The project will provide a snapshot of what it is like to live here now, through the eyes of two generations up to eighty years apart, at a time of accelerated climate change. ellierobinson-carter.com
Something & Son’s (Andy Merritt & Paul Smyth) work explores social and environmental issues via everyday scenarios criss-crossing the boundaries between the visual arts, architecture and activism. Through permanent installations, functional sculptures and public performance, works provide a framework or foundation for communities and ecologies to build upon. Projects often include economic models which underpin their long-term future. The structures and interactions of the works typically mimic the everyday to act as a familiar starting point to then take the subject into new realms.
Exhibitions include a solo show at Tate Britain; Tate Modern; V&A Museum; Manchester International Festival; Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Artangel; Milan Design Week, Italy; Cultural Olympia; Somerset House Trust; Folkestone Art Triennial, UK; Arts Catalyst; Deon Foundation, The Netherlands; The Design Museum, London; MAK/Vienna Biennale, Austria; Kinsale Arts Festival, Ireland; Arts Council Wales; South London Gallery, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew; the Wellcome Collection, UK; and Istanbul Design Biennial, Turkey. somethingandson.com
Heloise Tunstall-Behrens is a composer based in Cornwall and London. Her music spans contemporary classical, pop, experimental, and timbral drone. She writes for instrumental as well as vocal ensembles, such as Deep Throat Choir, Howl, and Yolk, of which she is a member. Since 2022, she has been collaborating with UCL Climate Scientist Prof Ilan Kelman to spread messages of hope in the face of climate change to combat rising anxiety and inertia.
David Watkins investigates connections from global supply chain infrastructure to the Wood Wide Web in his work. Infrastructure systems are often hidden beneath the surface of urban life, only becoming apparent when their breakdown occurs. While infrastructures promise modernity and growth, their neglect and absences expose inequality and the fragility of progress. Watkins’ current practice explores this tension between aspiration and failure. He is in the final year of the Professional Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London and studied painting and sculpture at the University of Wolverhampton, and the University of Buffalo in New York State. davidwatkins.co.uk
Wyrd Flora is a nature-based, community-focused, creative company. Co-founded by artists Lora and Marley, Wyrd Flora create spaces to build ways of collective thinking and learning that promote and protect traditional plant knowledge and environmental equality.Projects include: Motanafas: a space to connect. British Council COP27 Creative Commission; People of 1381 and The Commons Way, Estuary Festival 2021; Foraging for Folklore with YAK – Firstsite; Active Gardens with ECDP – Online permaculture series by Marley; Art Makes Kids Powerful – Metal Commission; Homeland Is Presence – Snapping The Stiletto, National Lottery Heritage Fund; Bhaji on the Beach with ECDP; Arts at The Allotment with ECDP & Dartford Healthy Living Centre.
FOCAL POINT GALLERY:
Focal Point Gallery supports the production and presentation of new and recent contemporary art that challenges us to think and feel differently about locality, our sense of self and the importance of communities. Our wide-ranging and pioneering artistic programme is relevant to local and national audiences alike, through exploring current concerns that also resonate internationally. Based in Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary, FPG’s activities take place in locations across the region with our reach extended by working collaboratively with like-minded partners.
Focal Point Gallery is south Essex’s gallery for contemporary visual art, promoting and commissioning major solo exhibitions, group and thematic shows, a programme of events including performances, film screenings and talks, as well as offsite projects and temporary public artworks.
As a key focus of our output, Focal Point Gallery’s learning programme aims to engage people of all ages in current debates around contemporary art and looks to extend and develop new audiences. We consider the philosophies and working methods of the artists in our exhibitions programme as the starting point for inspiration, aspiration, and discussion in the community. On this basis, the gallery seeks to proactively engage with a wide range of local community groups, residents, schools, young people, and children.
Focal Point Gallery also curates and commissions an on-going programme of artist moving image, screened daily on Big Screen Southend; a permanent outdoor video facility located adjacent to our main gallery space in Elmer Square.
Focal Point Gallery receives regular funding from Arts Council England as one of the organisation’s national portfolios of funded organisations and is part of Southend-on-Sea City Council.
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by Art Partners, donors, trusts and foundations and the 135,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free or discounted entry to over 850 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 is Horniman Museums & Gardens.