In pursuit of progress, humankind etched its wounding narrative upon the once abundant planet we inhabit. Luckily, Terra Nexus art exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to edit the current harrowing tale of woe that lies ahead. All that is required is: a willingness to embrace different perspectives, to overturn entrenched scripts that privilege human will, and, above all else, be responsible for levelling up the perilously out of balance scales, writes Carolyn Hart Taylor…
Encouraging visitors to consider collaborative approaches are the exhibition’s 25 artists, inviting us to navigate our way through a labyrinth of 17 art installations, dutifully geared towards opening our eyes to the beating heart of life around us, that many of use do not see.
Suddenly, that gorgeous jar of honey becomes more than a commodity on a supermarket shelf, while concrete takes on a beauty all of its own.
Being literally enveloped in the exhibition’s womb-like corridors of creativity took us back to when cultural practises worked harmoniously with the eco-system.
Supporting us to learn from those ancestral practises is Lao artist and alchemist Finchittida Finch’s observations that, whether human, ecological or astrophysical, we are all connected through life and death cycles. A relationship beautifully demonstrated in her installation of fruit intricately carved in honour of dear friend, which acknowledges ancient cultural practices that unite the life of that which is eaten with those that we love.
The blasé may relegate a dormant volcano to a photo opportunity but, to remind us of the error of our ways is Neapolitan sculptor and painter Cristiano Di Martino with his hauntingly stark, bleached installation celebrating 18th century sculptural methods. Suddenly that slumbering heap of rock reclaims its magnificent potential to blow all in its path to merry hell, swallowing, incinerating and spewing out life ad infinitum.
Humbled, yes. Terra Nexus shows that we are merely small fry, but that we are a part of the jigsaw, and these installations remind us of our co-existence with this planet and all life within it.
Wonderfully curated by artist Gabriella Sonabend, supported by Daniel Hudson, this labyrinthine exhibition is provocative.
Proposition Studios, 30 Malt Street, SE1 5AY until 5 January 2021. Times: Wednesday – Sunday 11am-7pm. Admission: £10.
Free for all Peckham and Bermondsey residents (bring a letter addressed to you), Free for those on Universal Credit, £5 students & low income.
Main image: The Spirit of the Beehive – Food of War