Let’s talk about Climate: an explosion of art across East Devon this summer

    In the year that the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, THG and East Devon District Council launch Climate Conversations: a multi-site programme of exhibitions, events and activities For the first time, Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) will present an exhibition across two towns - Honiton and Exmouth.

    In the year that the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, THG and East Devon District Council launch Climate Conversations: a multi-site programme of exhibitions, events and activities

    For the first time, Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) will present an exhibition across two towns - Honiton and Exmouth.

    The arts can raise questions, find different perspectives and create new opportunities to help us understand and adapt to our changing planet.

    Climate Conversations has been developed against the context of the East Devon District Council (EDDC) commitment to Devon’s Climate Change Emergency declaration and University of Exeter’s declaration of an environment and climate emergency.

    The programme opens with flagship exhibition Mike Perry Land/Sea by photographic artist Mike Perry across two sites: THG, Honiton and Ocean, Exmouth.

    The exhibition will launch at THG on 20 May and at Ocean on Ocean Day, 8 June 2021. The Ocean location will also become EDDC’s Climate Hub for the summer. The Creative Cabin (THG’s touring creative space) is taking Climate Conversations on tour.

    Climate Conversations opens dialogue about key environmental themes:

    • Reduce, reuse and recycle
    • Encourage energy efficiency
    • Nature Reserves and green spaces
    • Sustainable food systems

    Ruth Gooding, THG Curator, commented,

    Mike Perry’s work offers a unique opportunity to rethink our impact on the planet and its resources with fresh eyes. The works capture a haunting beauty with methodical precision, leaving you with many questions about the coexistence of the natural and manmade.

     The Creative Cabin will be taking these questions on the road in our Climate conversations programme. We will explore the climate emergency and what it means for you through creative activities, events and conversations in your neighbourhood.

    Mike Perry Land/Sea brings together two recent bodies of work: Wet Deserts and Môr Plastig.

    Wet Deserts challenges the romantic mythology of Britain’s national parks as areas of wilderness and natural beauty, suggesting that large areas of our parks are degraded and threaten our fight against species extinction and climate change. Môr Plastig (Welsh for ‘plastic sea’), is a forensic photographic study of plastic objects that have washed up on our seashores. Using a high resolution camera to capture intriguing surface detail, Perry classifies the objects into groupings - bottles, shoes, grids etc poetically alluding to what we might be are leaving behind for future generations.

    Mike Perry said,

    After collecting pieces of plastic washed up on the beaches near where I live, I bring them back to the studio. I then photograph the objects one to one, straight on to camera and with flat natural light. My intention is to reduce the objects to their formal states separating them for a moment from any meaning beyond their sculptural presence. The purpose is to make us think about the materiality of these objects, where they might have come from, how they physically break down into the food chain and how nature sculpts these man-made objects into strange new forms.

    Mike Perry’s work engages with significant and pressing environmental issues, in particular the tension between human activity and interventions in the natural environment, and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems (be that marine or land). 

    r Plastig work was included in The Black and White Room at The Royal Academy of Arts, curated by artist Cornelia Parker. Perry has also exhibited at the Venice Biennale and in 2015, received a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales.

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