Beautiful World Where Are You?
Liverpool Biennial, venues citywide.
Until 28 October
The 2018 Liverpool Biennial laments over what is lost: peoples, cultures, traditions and identities – everything which has been disrupted or displaced by political, economical or ecological discord. Beautiful World Where Are You? establishes a mode of questioning through which individuals may better equip themselves in working towards a more inclusive future.
Published 24 August by Aesthetica.
Image: Melanie Smith, still from Maria Elena (2018). Courtesy of the artist.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Barrels & the Mastaba 1958-2018
The Serpentine Galleries, London
Until 9 September (The London Mastaba until 23 September)
An iridescent mass floats erroneously on the Serpentine Lake. Christo’s new public commission is an abstract monument – the form of which, inspired by the flat-roofed tombs of ancient Egypt, makes for a jarring statement in the heart of the Grade-I listed Hyde Park. Upon closer inspection, the dappled colours begin an aesthetic exchange with their surroundings.
Published 20 August by Aesthetica.
Image: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The London Mastaba.
Lee Bul, Crashing
The Hayward Gallery, London
1 June-19 August 2018
Enshrined in steel-strung crystals, the Hayward's austere exterior undergoes a deceptive makeover. As ever, Lee Bul challenges the “idealism” of her subject by enveloping it in a desirous material – a twist that disrupts utopian ideals and reveals humankind's grotesque fragilities. Within, Civotas Solis II's silken qualities forge a fantastical-boutique of what could be part of an Alexander McQueen collection.
Published 1 August in Aesthetica Issue 84.
Zarah Hussain & Simon Woolham
Macclesfield Barnaby Festival
15-24 June 2018
The traces of industry bear heavy on many an ex-industrial municipality, but Macclesfield’s former status as the world’s biggest producer of finished silk is hard to imagine in this humble Cheshire town. Macclesfield Barnaby Festival has invited artists to respond to the theme of ‘Roots/Routes’ in a bid to engage modern audiences with its rich heritage.
Published 25 June by Corridor8.
Image: Zarah Hussain, Invisible Threads, Silk Museum, 2018.
Lake District, Cumbria
January - July 2018
A tenderly meandering network of lanes provides a respite from the humdrum of the M6. The monotony of the motorway is exchanged for a lusciously green realm of flora: it’s summertime in the Lake District and an ideal time to visit this year’s Lakes Ignite, a programme which has commissioned six artists to respond to the notion of the ‘cultural landscape’.
Published 8 June by Corridor8.
Image: Ordnance Pavilion, Studio MUTT, Lakes Ignite 2018.
Emma Smith, Euphonia
The Bluecoat, Liverpool
27 April - 14 June 2018
Emma Smith’s installation, Euphonia, brings The Bluecoat’s audiences into a holistic sanctuary of sound. The gallery is stripped back to its bare essentials: in place of pictorial subjects and colour, we discover tinted Perspex panels which resonate with the aesthetics of 1960s minimalism and American-artist Dan Graham’s geometric pavilions.
Published 6 June by thisistomorrow.
Image: Emma Smith, Euphonia, Courtesy Rob Battersby.
David Bethell, Inverted Landscapes
GRAIN Projects Commission, National Trust, Ilam Park
14-22 April 2018
Sat humbly on a crisp, green plateau is a wooden shelter, one which calls to mind the homely shed that frequents the margins of a garden; a friend to horticulturists or allotmenteers. As a spectator, we are drawn to this make-shift contraption which, upon closer inspection, is adorned with a structural porch, timber steeple and Saxon-esque cross.
Published 28 May by Photomonitor.
Image: David Bethell, Inverted Landscapes 2018.
Anthony McCall, Solid Light Works
The Hepworth Wakefield
16 February - 3 June 2018
As a techno-savvy society, we’ve become accustomed to engaging with the transcendental dimensions produced by VR, MR and 3D cinema. Anthony McCall, a master projectionist, moves beyond cinema by moulding its fundamental component – light – into a volumetric form. Solid Light Works celebrates the artist’s practice from a sculptural perspective.
Published 15 May by The Double Negative.
Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
9 March - 29 April 2018
Set against the backdrop of the centenary celebrations of the suffragette movement, this show is the result of Ruth Barker and Hannah Leighton-Boyce’s year-long research residencies. In 2017, the two artists exchanged ideas from their locations in Salford and Glasgow; each delving into the archives of the University of Salford and the Glasgow Women’s Library.
Published 1 May by thisistomorrow.
Image: Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Persistent bodies. Photo Drew Forsyth.
Jasmina Cibic, This Machine Builds Nations
9 February - 28 May 2018
Cultural production can shape a nation’s identity. Jasmina Cibic dissects the modes of soft power entangled within modernist art and architecture in a theatrical labyrinth of film, props, performance and installation. This Machine Builds Nations transports its audience through Nada, a film trilogy situated around the influential work of three modernist architects.
Published 1 April in Aesthetica Issue 82.
New Art Gallery Walsall
2 February - 6 May 2018
By definition, 'wilderness' is an uninhabited, inhospitable or abandoned area. But is there anywhere that is truly wild by these standards? In a bid to escape today's urbanised meccas, the Wilderness artists forge multi-faceted experiences of natural spaces, slipping environmentalism and humanism beneath the sleek surface of screen and print-based media.
Published 1 April in Aesthetica Issue 82
Image: Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Wrapped, 2008.
Liz West, Our Colour Reflection
Chester Cathedral, Chester Visual Arts
1 February - 1 March 2018
A confetti of luminosity dances its way onto an archaic ceiling: it’s a subtle invitation to engage with the grooves and crevasses of Chester Cathedral’s gaunt yet majestic architecture. On the floor beneath, pools of synthetic colour flood the entirety of the Chapter House; its perimeter brimming with a total of 765 coloured acrylic discs.
Published 27 February on Corridor8.
Hestercombe House & Gardens, Taunton
18 November 2017 - 25 February 2018
Odyssean: Topographies is a cognitive, visual and, at times, physical expedition into hidden and imagined spaces. The culmination of four artists’ Orkney-based residencies, the exhibition throws into question the ways in which humans formulate perceptions of nature and place in an era rife with technology.
Published 20 February on thisistomorrow.
Natasha Brzezicki, Field Notes
AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent
2 - 11 February 2018
Field Notes is a refuge for urban naturalists. Held within the heart of the city, Natasha Brzezicki’s solo show unveils a series of tentatively translated keepsakes from her immediate surroundings. Though Brzezicki is new to her environment, she has made sense of ‘place’ through activities such as walking, collecting, ordering and naming.
Published 5 February on Creative Tourist.
Edmund Clark, In Place of Hate
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 6 December 2017 - 11 March 2018
Hundreds of flowers, and their intricate veins, are exposed in an expansive light-box. Picked from the grounds of HMP Grendon, pressed between prison-issue paper towels and displayed in a cubic vitrine, this lineage-laden botany incarcerates an area which corresponds to the size of a Grendon cell – hence the piece's title, 1.98m2..
Published 1 February in Aesthetica Issue 81.
Cig Harvey: You An Orchestra You A Bomb
Schilt Publishing, 2017
We are lost in an ocean of images which no longer speak of a single, riotous moment; we seek to document everything, rather than experience tenderness at its peak. ‘You an Orchestra, You a Bomb' throws its viewers headfirst into the beauty and darkness of modern living. A pivotal event – a car collision – is a catalyst for disruption of the ordinary..
Published 29 January on thisistomorrow.
Veronica Ryan, Salvage
The Art House, Wakefield, until 19 January.
The word ‘salvage’ brings with it an entourage of meaning: rescue, conserve, redeem and restore. It’s a recovery phase which often follows distress or adversity of varying degrees. Veronica Ryan’s Salvage at The Art House invites the viewer to retrieve a message, a moment, from the tumultuous creative processes of stitching, dying, stacking and charring..
Read the full review on Creative Tourist.
Alfredo Jaar, The Garden of Good and Evil
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, until 8 April.
Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar has spent his career reporting on human rights abuses in a language which is synonymous to that used by the media. Through photojournalism, text and technology, he critiques the press and our image-saturated existence from within. Jaar’s activist attitude is augmented by his architectural comprehension of space..
Read the full review on Corridor8.