2 May 2008 – 31 May 2008

Event times

Wed-Sat 12.30-5.00pm


London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 47, 53, 177, 180, 199, 255, 453
  • Canada Water
  • Deptford Train Station/New Cross Train Station/Deptford Bridge DLR/Cutty Sark DLR

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Wastestate//Paul Caton, Richard Ducker, Joerg Obergfell, Caroline Rothwell, Conrad Ventur


Wastestate brings together five artists whose work can be identified within the theme of rubbish & landscape. For this exhibition BEARSPACE will exhibit artists working in a range of media from watercolour to installation with materials as diverse as felt and concrete.

JMW Turner said when speaking about his industrial landscapes, "If I could find anything blacker than black, I'd use it."

The tradition of landscape in art practice is one of difference. Renowned painters of this tradition referenced a particular social framework, often relevant to a particular genre and therefore, seen as a progressive practice both then and now. Landscape is also often viewed as the domain of the amateur painter, limited by form and content; it is an impression by the artist of a particular sitting or view. This type of landscape representation is often non-confrontational and focuses on the 'dreamy' or 'moody' aspects of the scene.

Wastestate references both the Great Masters and amateur painting in exploring contemporary and future landscapes. Landscape is a place of freedom, evolution, darkness and light. Today a key element to rural and urban locations is the parasitic layer of rubbish. Landscapes are littered with public bins, rubbish bags spilling out into streets and fields.

Our landscape has changed to include rubbish, rubble and residents amongst the ruin, composing new experiences for artists to draw upon. The predominant use of monochrome as technique in this exhibition reflects the lurking industrial materials and packaging, contrasting the bright or pastel palette of the traditional landscape painter. In this new palette of the man-made and manufactured, artists often use found objects, recycling rubbish to create artworks, physically creating a new landscape using by-products of our throwaway society.

In Wastestate these landscapes evolve, morph and are tangled with rubbish and demise. Like uncomfortable bedfellows, rubbish and landscape become hopelessly linked, creating a layered experience built with each debris intervention. This evolution is present in many of the artists work, almost predicting the victory of rubbish over landscape. This type of artwork allows us to add a new section to the history of landscape art and deconstruct the social framework that this new work is referencing.


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