The work of six important international artists is to be exhibited together for the first time in the South West. The exhibition will feature works by Paolo Barrile, Mel Chin, herman de vries, Richard Long, Ana Mendieta and Claire Pentecost.
This exhibition is a significant part of the UK contribution to the United Nations International Year of Soils (2015) and a final stage of the three year Soil Culture project initiated by the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) and launched at Falmouth University in 2013.
Healthy soils are essential for the production of food, fibres and timber, they filter our water and protect us from flooding and are a vital part of our global ecosystem. Today, however, soils are increasingly being threatened by poor management and short-termism, resulting in compaction, contamination and a loss of natural fertility. In the South West alone, 38% of its soils have already been significantly degraded.
The unique range of artworks on display includes previously unseen work by Mel Chin, who uses plants to extract heavy metals from contaminated land to that of Claire Pentecost who has refashioned soil into the shapes of gold ingots to reflect its true worth. There will also be works by seven British artists; Chris Drury, Andy Goldsworthy, Sandra Masterson, Daro Montag, David Nash, Peter Ward and Adam White. These will be linked to interactive displays and activities which explore the science behind soils.
The Soil Culture programme has been supported by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, British Society of Soil Science, the participating galleries and organisations and through sponsorship.