‘Entangle’, opening at Phoenix Brighton on 1 August,
Explores the shifting relationships between human and landscape as part of diep~haven’s 2018 festival, Terra Firma.
‘Entangle’ incorporates artworks produced by those diep~haven artists in residence who have poetically explored the intertwining of or slippage between human and landscape, the myths and mysteries that arise between the two and the impact of this entanglement on the human psyche.
“The work produced by the artists in residence that we are presenting in the show at Phoenix all exhibit a poetic quality. Perhaps it’s something to do with the process of working in gardens that produces such reflective and personal responses. It’s a psychological entanglement” says Rosie Hermon, diep~haven curator.
The exhibition takes its cue from a photograph by Victorian artist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll; a staged image of a gardener dressed as a monk in the woods, a strange and romantic vision that harks back to an even earlier time and invites reflection on the idea of communing with nature.
This emphasis on staging is continued through the re-presentation of two performances created during short residencies as responses to the grounds of the Chateau de Bosmelet in Normandy. Sarah Duffy’s piece explores the myth of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose supposed grief for her stolen daughter Persephone and joy at her return explained the changing seasons. Essi Kausalainen’s song was composed for the garden of the Chateau and its inhabitants, intended to refigure the emotional landscape of the human in the garden with the help of the vegetal beings – by calling on their sensitivities.
From refiguring an emotional landscape to an actual one, Gabriela Albergaria’s drawings are semi-imagined configurations of natural landscapes that she has encountered. Her work for this exhibition takes as it’s starting point her residency at National Trust Sheffield Park and Garden where she has created a new large-scale sculpture ‘Inanimate Object, or a complete cycle of the soil’, which is also included as part of the festival.
Azadeh Fatehrad is presenting ‘The Whispers of the Garden’, created during her residency at Bois des Moutiers in Normandy. The garden, which was designed along theosophical principles, lies at the intersection of Western and Eastern philosophies. Azadeh Fatehrad’s work reflects on the complex co-existence of materiality and spiritual life; chaotic wild nature and the formality of plants arranged in lines; and the temporality of figures and the permanency of patterns evident at Bois des Moutiers.
These pieces are accompanied by other new and existing works that further explore aesthetic, linguistic and biological entanglements between the human and the vegetal. Suzanne Walsh is creating a poetic text for the gallery that explores the relationship between time, language and land. ‘FYE-kuss e-LASS-tick-uh’ (2014) by Rachel Pimm is a two channel video work in which the soundwaves of the narrator’s voice have a striking formal similarity to leaves suggesting a increasing convergence and coexistence of the natural and the technological and man-made, whilst Joey Holder’s piece ‘Porphyrin’ (2017) takes its title from a substance common to blood, plants and oil, reinforcing the ultimate connectedness of all things.
There will be live performances by Suzanne Walsh and Sarah Duffy during the opening event on 31 July.
diep~haven takes place across Sussex and Normandy from July – October 2018.