Taking the exhibitions by Anna Laurent and John Simpson at The Exhibitionist Hotel as a point of departure, the talk will ask how art can be informed by nature to tackle urgent questions about the complicated relationship between humans and the natural world.
Touching upon subjects such as loss of biodiversity, climate change, evolution's narrative arc, and how technology mediates our experience of the ’natural’, the talk will question if art can function as a reminder that people and nature are connected, and invite the audience to reflect on their own effect on the environment.
The Biological Landscape by John Simpson
In his current solo show at The Exhibitionist Hotel, John Simpson explores cellular production, regeneration and destruction, though complex printing techniques introduced in his Mitosis installation at Tate Exchange 2018.
The exhibition is an extension of the artist's universal interest: reconnecting the human animal with the natural world.
Flora: Exploration to Extinction a landscape imagined by Anna Laurent
Anna Laurent looks at our contemporary botanic ecology as a wild beauty threatened by staggering ecological pressures. Amidst vibrant ecologies of lavishly depicted flora, the landscape is interrupted by absent species, extinct or endangered, represented in black silhouettes.
The Exhibitionist Hotel commissioned Anna Laurent to create an immersive artwork on the first floor corridor. The work is accompanied by a selling exhibition of her ‘Dispersion Series’ displayed in the Garden Room.
Shrinking Space - Science and Art with Andy Franzkowiak
Andy Franzkowiak is a Creative Producer and Curator whose practice realises meaningful collaborations between artists, scientists, communities and other important actors around a given issue-based story. He has produced projects across the UK that endeavour to give audiences insight into their own place in our grand evolving interconnected relationship with the natural world – attempting to re-connect us with our environments and highlighting that each of us can make a difference. We are part of nature, as are our phones, clothes, homes and computers.
Most recently Andy, with his company Shrinking Space, curated an interactive, site-specific experience across Kew Garden’s second site, Wakehurst. Audiences were cast as messengers, rather than visitors, managers or stewards, equals alongside non-human players in the landscape. He worked with Kew’s scientists and contemporary artists such as Larry Achiampong and Hidden Orchestra, seeking to illuminate the stories that surround us and raising awareness of the symbiosis each of us needs through every step we take. As Jay Griffiths’ so emphatically puts it: re-finding the “wild” side in all of us – we are never just audiences, always active participants.
He has also produced and curated transdisciplinary projects with Somerset House, King’s College London, the Eden Project, Science Gallery London, Brighton Digital Festival, British Science Festival, the Science and Industry Museum, and worked in partnership with an array of scientific and cultural institutions.
Coming next is a Tate Exchange this February and a cultural reforesting project in South Wales.
About The Exhibitionist Hotel
The Exhibitionist Hotel is a revolving artwork where artists draw and paint directly onto the walls. The art programme includes bi-monthly exhibitions accompanied by cutting edge debates and talks open to the public.
For further details please contact our curator Vestalia Chilton at: email@example.com