Exhibiting artists: Frances Burden |Deborah Gardner |Jane Millar | Sarah Sparkes
'In a sense, if you're not getting it wrong really a lot when you're creating imaginary futures, then you're just not doing it enough. You're not creating enough imaginary futures.' William Gibson
New Doggerland is a new multi-disciplinary artists project for a future imagining of physical and cultural re-connection between Britain and the European mainland. Doggerland is the name given to the ancient landmass, now submerged, that once connected Britain to Northern Europe. What if a new land mass rises up and we become physically part of the mainland again?
New Doggerland is a project about future land and humans. It asks questions to which the exhibitors and participants will respond with different ideas and answers. Who will be living there and how? It may evoke a Ballardian dystopia, or ideas of possible Utopia. Or could New Doggerland be the heterotopia where we go to experience 'other' selves, a place of becoming?
About the artwork: featured works include textiles, sculpture, ceramics and installation. Frances Burden's stitched pieces and works on paper range from the uniformity of Orwell and Huxley to the wild Egyptian glamour of Earth Wind and Fire, to explore the common themes of future imagining the look of dress and costume. Her pieces here are a sample selection for the everyday and the ceremonial. Sculptor Deborah Gardner considers future shifting plant environments from the local to the alien and imaginary considerations of plants in space, partly inspired by recent images of NASA’s experiments with growing plants on space craft and science fiction visions of extra-terrestrial colonisation. Ceramic artist Jane Millar envisions a future crisis of lost knowledge. Her Orrery attempts a narration of origins and contingencies, while a Werkbund type display case function as itinerant triggers for unrecovered memories and to soothe future human survivors' loss of identity. Artist Sarah Sparkes followed her MA with studying for an archaeology diploma in the pre-history of southern Britain. Sparkes returns to her past research and assimilates this with themes from science fiction. She has imagined her work and New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.