Moonscapes Contemporary Art Interventions
In the year of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, our latest exhibition Moonscapes, opening at Watts Gallery on 2 April 2019, is the first exhibition to explore nineteenth-century visions of the moon.
Presenting a selection of works by significant artists including William Holman Hunt, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Evelyn de Morgan and G F Watts, Moonscapes will consider the Victorian fascination with the earth's closest cosmic neighbour, bringing into focus the many ways in which nineteenth-century artists have drawn inspiration from the moon.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by the below programme of contemporary art interventions that will accent the key themes of the exhibition through light, sound and space.
Artemis - Charlie Barton
"It's impossible not to wonder at the Moon and about the Moon, it's full of myth and magic. My inspiration to paint the moon came from a number of influences, as a child I listened endlessly to David Bowie's Space Oddity; I was rocketed up in that tin can to a wondrous world way beyond my world… I grew up on Salisbury Plain where we would ride across the cratered "Impact Area", a pock marked landscape that seemed to me just like the surface of the moon. As there was no light pollution on the Plain the night sky was often a visual feast of stars. My late father who navigated on the first Round The World sailing race, gave me huge inspiration when describing the night sky on his voyage. His sextant was always an object of fascination to me. On his death in 2000 I was drawn to contemplate the cosmos & found myself lured to the Moon."
"I paint in oil, & sometimes pigment. I begin my process by painting on the floor where I apply a resin called Alkaflow to create the texture of the lunar surface, once dried, the canvas goes back onto the wall where I apply more paint. This process is repeated so I build up layers of paint."
Cosmoscope - Simeon Nelson with Rob Godman and Nick Rothwell
Inspired by historical astronomical instruments and models of the cosmos, it looks at the infinitesimal to the infinite. Like the world with its calamities and ceaseless change, Cosmoscope has order and disorder built in. Its patterns of light and music intertwine and separate in perpetual evolution giving rise to very small, the human and very large scales sourced from the research into solid-state physics, organic structures, and the large-scale structure of the cosmos.
Informed by collaboration with leading physicists working at the cutting edge of the very small, the human and the very large,
Cosmoscope embeds us, organically in science into earth science and astrophysics to offer a compelling narrative of the origin, evolution and nature of life.
Cosmoscope takes the fact of the human scale being roughly at the midpoint of the cosmic scale and tries of apprehend both the unity and diversity of all things, our situation and attempt to comprehend all this. This is the existential dimension to the project - reimagining ourselves embedded in a wider system of meaning beyond the human.
Year 2. Arsenic 1 - Garry Fabian Miller
Garry Fabian Miller is one of the most progressive figures in contemporary fine art photography. He gained international acclaim in the 1970s for photographs of sky, land and sea, notably the series
Sections of England: The Sea Horizon, 1975/76. Since the mid-80s, he has worked without a camera to experiment with the possibilities of light as both medium and subject. His work is held in private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Government Art Collection, London, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, and the Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Tokyo. Norton Art Museum, Palm Beach. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London has the largest collection of his work, collected over thirty years.
The Moon Cabinet - Rupert Senior
Exploring the blurred boundary between Art and Science, the Moon Cabinet draws inspiration from orreries, the moon and beyond. The swirls in the burr ash grain look like the surface of the moon and are interspersed with craters and sub-craters, gilded in yellow gold, palladium and 'moon gold' leaf. Opening the doors reveals a magnificent blue night sky. The craters are now transformed into planets within a solar system that seem to float in space. At the centre is a black hole.
It is a key cabinet. Behind the craters are stainless steel hooks, fashioned like little satellites spinning off into space.
Upcoming Events and Exhibitions
Watts Gallery is a registered Charity. Charity No. 313612. All profits help us to provide excellent educational activities, stage critically acclaimed exhibitions, and maintain our collection, buildings and estate for future generations to enjoy.