5th July - 31st August 2019
Grizedale has a long history of industry, everything from iron smelting, tanneries, swill making, charcoal burning, bobbin-making and gunpowder production. For this exhibition, Andrea Gregson considers the landscape as a relic of past production, where natural materials have been transformed through industrial processes.
The metal cast sculptures in the show allude in part to the dependence on water in past and present industry, making connections to the glacial past that shaped the landscape and the rivers powering mills and forges. During the eighteenth century, the overproduction of iron almost depleted the forest. Coppicing was introduced to manage wood stocks and later during WW2 much of the mature timbers were felled and had to be replanted.
In the work ‘Spectre’, multiple bracket fungus from different UK forests, usually found on trees weak from damage by man or nature, have been cast in porcelain and grow like ghostly parasites in large formations on the gallery wall.
Her practice is an ongoing inquiry into the ever-changing states of materiality in nature, art, manufacturing and site. Working across sculpture, installation and drawing, she plays with ideas of transformation and collapse. She is interested in the fractious relationship between industry and nature, evidenced in the geological traces of the Anthropocene, the current geological age, dominated by signs of human activity.
Using graphite and charcoal, both locally sourced materials that played important roles in Grizedale’s history, in the production of gunpowder and iron, she has made a series of large-scale drawings and frottages from industrial remnants and ruins found in the forest.
The exhibition and future sculpture commission have been supported by an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant, and were awarded research funding from the University for the Creative Arts. There will be an Artist Talk on Sat 24th August 1.30-2.30pm, including a tour and object-handling session to prompt discussion.
A specially commissioned zine about the work with a text written by Dr Lizzie Fisher, an independent curator and art historian based in Cumbria will be available during the show. Seeing Through the Ground will remain in situ until 31 August.