Helsinki Contemporary's Guest Curator programme continues in December, with an exhibition combining Finnish and English artists, who are in dialogue with Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, London. The curators are David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin. The project is supported by Saastamoinen Foundation and the Finnish Institute in London.
The exhibition Landscapes of the Future refers to the range of physical and metaphorical landscapes that open up in a globalized, knowledge economy. Bringing together some of the artists currently depicting the new lie of the land, our landscape is one of uncertainty and mistrust of the future. All the works in this exhibition have evolved from long periods of research and some have been specifically commissioned for this exhibition, but all the British works have been produced in the climate of events surrounding 23 June, 2016. Brexit, may be the equivalent to the quiver of a butterfly’s wing in the global context: as we know small changes in the ecosystem can eventually be catastrophic.
The concept of ‘landscape’ is one of culturally appropriated territory – the found environment or ‘nature’ territorialized. Landscapes combine the geological features of a particular place – country or continent - with the trace of the humans that live in that place, helping to define the identity of peoples as much as they define, and have defined, the land. In the contemporary moment, an addictive dependency on natural resources is key to a post-industrial lifestyle and generates in-balances; of geology, economy and political power. It is also the moment in which accelerated climate change, triggered by human excess, is shifting our relationship with the seasons, with the land and the way we consume it. Vast numbers of people flee the land of their birth to find refuge in unfamiliar landscapes. There are few places where these shifts are more apparent than in London, where most of these artists work.
In art, the landscape tradition is not only one of claiming nature through its depiction, but of imaginary future landscapes. Beaconsfield brings together this group of British artists who touch on the theme in diverse ways, contextualised by one Finnish artist who is passionately engaged with narratives relating to her homeland.
The curatorial frame of this exhibition expands the concept of landscape to shed light upon the changing ways in which we relate to particular spaces, places and the ongoing trace of humanity. The exhibition suggests a role for artists in supporting a sustainable future, through reflection and a disciplined application of the imagination.
The invited artists are BAW & Bruce Gilbert, David Burrows, Anna Bunting-Branch,
Ioana Marinescu, Onya McCausland, Outi Pieski, Keith Piper, Phil Thompson
and Thomas Yeomans.