30th April – 3rd May 8 Duke Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6BN
Curators: Alice Sharp, Invisible Dust and Monica Chung
Synchronicity Earth – a London-based charity that funds and seeks investment in the most important conservation initiatives globally – is hosting a programme of events throughout the year to mark the IUCN’s Red List’s 50th anniversary.
This event-series aims both to celebrate the abundance and diversity of life on Earth and to highlight our planet’s biodiversity-loss.
The ‘Disappearing Nature’ exhibition, held at Gallery 8, is the first event in Synchronicity Earth’s series and has been developed in partnership with Invisible Dust – an art and science organisation exploring the environment. The week-long exhibition, curated by Invisible Dust’s founder and director Alice Sharp and guest curator Monica Chung, offers artists’ insights into the perils facing plant and animal species around the world, highlighting humankind’s effect and cause.
The exhibition consists of works from some of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary artists and leading wildlife photographers – from Jeremy Deller, Marcus Coates, Zana Briski, Adam Chodzko, Dan Holdsworth, Tania Kovats, Robin Moore, Mariele Neudecker, as well as specially commissioned artworks by Alice Shirley.
The Disappearing Nature exhibition will explore humankind’s relationship with nature from the arctic to the deep sea. It will examine the many facets of our influence, including our impact on rare species across the globe, whilst looking at the plight of indigenous people who are often caught, metaphorically, in the same traps as endangered species unable to control their local environment and way of life.
Jessica Sweidan, Founding Trustee of Synchronicity Earth says:
“Art plays a vital role in making our impacts on the planet visible, challenging us to see what is happening and discuss its implications – all of which is key to Synchronicity Earth’s mission. Synchronicity Earth is working to bring human society back into alignment with the living world.”
Alice Sharp, Invisible Dust Director and Curator says:
“This has been an amazing opportunity for Invisible Dust to collaborate with Synchronicity Earth on an exhibition to celebrate the importance of the IUCN Red List. ‘Disappearing Nature’ highlights both organisations’ work with leading scientists and looks at human influence on the future of the natural environment revealing exciting themes for artists to explore”.
Artists in the exhibition, include:
Jeremy Deller’s film stills of the African Eagle Owl and Harrier Hawk that are segments from the video that is part of his current touring solo exhibition ‘English Magic’ first exhibited at the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2013. Exploring notions of the wild and primal, the portrayals give is a close glimpse of such exquisite and dramatic birds of prey.
Marcus Coates often looks in humorous ways at humans’ relationship with nature often referring to Land Art. ‘Self Portrait Underground (Worcestershire)’ reflects on the reality of species hiding from the influence of man to survive. The image portrays Coates lying in a self made hole. By aligning himself with the field (being physically part of it) he is attempting to move towards a subjectivity that is indistinguishable from its surroundings.
Dan Holdsworth’s subliminal photographic series ‘The World in Itself’ depicts the landscape in Iceland at its most barren, recording the gentle terrain left behind by a glacier, a marker of time on our evolving planet and a place that is unfamiliar. The photograph exhibited depicts a concrete bridge that spans the horizon, pointing to human design and intervention in the natural landscape.
Robin Moore’s vividly coloured beach scene captures two Haitian boys fishing. The idyllic setting belies the harsh reality for its inhabitants and their daily struggle to provide enough food and water for their families and the image demonstrates the inextricable connection between people and their environment. Robin is an award winning wildlife photographer and conservationist.
Tania Kovat’s ‘Where Seas Meet’ is a sculpture of two glass vessels that are connected by seawater from the point where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean to the North of New Zealand.
Mariele Neudecker’s video ‘Dark Years Away’ continues the Ocean theme. Commissioned through an Invisible Dust collaboration with Professor Alex Rogers, leading world marine biologist at Oxford University and Synchronicity Earth advisor, Neudecker’s footage documents an underwater scoop collecting specimens attached to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that traveled to a depth of 3000m, the bottom of the world’s deepest oceans.
Nature is where Alice Shirley’s inspiration begins: its infinite variety, power and beauty holds a universal appeal to every human. Shirley’s new paintings bring together all living creatures that inhabit the Earth. Each brightly colored illustrative painting depicts a different habitat and the species that have adapted to live and exist in that environment.
Adam Chodzko’s ‘Mask Filter’, a trap made from woven twigs is an object which appears to be a piece of primitive or outsider sculpture but actually functions as something utilitarian; a piece of camera kit; a functional filter for altering photographs.
Zana Briski, an academy award winner’s large-scale black and white photograph confronts us with the Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda. The gorilla is critically endangered and the flying foxes are vulnerable.
Alongside the exhibition, Synchronicity Earth and Invisible Dust will also host two exclusive evening events to create dialogue around its main themes:
Opening event: Re-Imagining Nature
Tuesday 29 April, 6 to 9pm Talk at 7pm, drinks and canapés
Tickets via Eventbrite
Art meets Science event: Supporting Life on Earth
Thursday 1 May, 6 to 9pm Q&A at 7pm Tickets via Eventbrite
About Synchronicity Earth
Synchronicity Earth provides funding for the most important conservation initiatives globally, acting as ambassador, mentor and agent to organisations working to halt and reverse environmental degradation.
Synchronicity Earth creates beautiful, yet thought-provoking events to increase concern for the living environment. This is important because currently, a small proportion (around three per cent) of charitable donations goes towards environmental protection. Of that, only a fraction is targeted effectively, leaving many critical gaps. Synchronicity Earth believes that addressing these gaps will help to safeguard our future and that of the species we share our planet with.
Synchronicity Earth uses rigorous analysis – informed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM – to identify which interventions require funding and where support is most needed. Due diligence and evaluation helps us to ensure that Synchronicity Earth’s portfolio contains the most innovative projects carried out by dedicated individuals, providing an effective constellation of interventions.
Our aim is to empower those protecting threatened and forgotten species in some of the most amazing and biodiverse ecosystems in the world.
About Invisible Dust
Invisible Dust- Invisible Dust is a commissioning organisation that works with leading artists and scientists to produce new and exciting works of contemporary art. It provides the opportunity for both disciplines to share and explore common ground.
Currently Invisible Dust is working with Turner Prize 2012 winner Elizabeth Price with a space scientist and the Royal Observatory, artists Owl Project with Manchester Museum and a flooding project in Bristol with New York artist Eve Mosher ‘HighWaterLine’. Invisible Dust is developing a new project with artists and scientists on the health effects of climate change ‘Invisible Heat’ for 2015
Invisible Dust aims to produce significant and far reaching artists commissions in the Public Realm both in the UK and internationally, as well as supporting the creation of new scientific ideas whilst engaging audiences with large scale events, education and community activities. It was founded by Alice Sharp who previously managed the Fourth Plinth, co curated a touring exhibition ‘Journeys with No Return’ to Istanbul, Berlin and London and has worked as an Independent Curator since 1997. www.invisibledust.com