Subterrania was a solo touring solo exhibition of large-scale photographic works curated from a number of distinct series of images produced by the artist over the last seven years.
Hosted by Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall and funded by Arts Council England South West, the exhibition launched at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead 31st July – 4th October 2009, before travelling to Impressions Gallery, Bradford 20th November – 24th January 2010 and concluding at Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall 13th February – 17th April 2010.
Ranging from Early Christian Catacombs to a Second World War underground hospital, the apparently disparate locations for the images were chosen primarily for the sense of a dislocated physical power that they evoke but many of the sites are also tourist destinations where complex relationships between heritage, leisure and history are brought into question. Here, contrary to a location’s specific historic purpose that allowed access to a defined group of users, these sites have now been opened up for tourism where the boundaries between modern experience and historical truth are unavoidably blurred.
The most recent works are a commission made at Boulby Mine on the North Yorkshire/Cleveland coast. Primarily a potash and salt mine, Boulby also houses a Dark Matter Laboratory. Here, at a depth of over 1km, an international team of astrophysicists and cosmologists are searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) that are believed to constitute the 96% of the universe that is currently unaccounted for.
In the extended body of works that forms Subterrania, it is the journey from phenomenological experience to photographic representation that is explored. Here, indicators of time, climate or identifiable location are all suspended, leaving instead a sense of intense interiority.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
31 July - 4 October 2009
Impressions Gallery, Bradford
20 November 2009 - 24 January 2010
Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall
13 February - 17 April 2010
The research and development of the projects included in Subterrania has been supported by a number of agencies and institutions.
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