‘News from Nowhere’ begins at Kelmscott House with the novel’s narrator, William Guest, a Victorian who awakes one hundred years in the future and discovers a pastoral paradise that he both recognises, and is also something otherworldly. Morris wrote sections of the novel here at Kelmscott House and the Coach House was a lecture room and meeting place for the Hammersmith Branch of The Socialist League.
Deakin’s imaginary dense landscapes parallel William Guest’s experience of overlapping timescales seeing both the present surroundings with what he remembers. The works are intended to be immersive and fragmentary spaces which allow the viewer to superimpose their experience onto the landscape.
Deakin also draws on Morris’s sense of repeated patterns drawn from nature and overflowing visual boundaries. The interest in creating repeating patterns seems to be an almost universally human trait highlighting the role of geometric shapes and patterns in images of landscapes, which are often used as signifiers of civilisation or the symbolic value of places.
Reimagining Nowhere combines historical and contemporary landscape painting styles. The repetitive patterns bring an immediate connection to Morris’s designs alongside the inspiration that the artist took from the prophetic visions described in ‘News from Nowhere’. Reimagining Nowhere is a testament to the legacy and source of inspiration that William Morris’s vision of the future continues to have on contemporary artists and also invites the viewers to imagine their own ideal of how the world might look in a hundred years.