Haarlem Artspace presents re:rural- four contemporary artists un-learn and re-imagine the rural
Haarlem Artspace: Annalee Davis, Wild Plant Series, F is for Frances and Sweeping the Fields in the gallery, and outside (Bush) Tea Plot - A Decolonial Patch for Mill Workers.
Haarlem Periodical: Annalee Davis Wild Plant Series, Sweeping the Fields, (Bush) Tea Plot - A Decolonial Patch for Mill Workers: Feral Practice Mycorrhizal Meditation & Homo Mycilium: Deirdre O’Mahony, SPUD, A Village Plot: Pauline Woolley, The Sky Calls to Me & Beyond the Celestial Sphere.
Haarlem’s new group exhibition, re:rural - four contemporary artists un-learn and re-imagine the rural, marks our fourth anniversary, and re-emergence from lockdown. re:rural presents new and recent sculpture, drawing, sound, video, photography and text works by artists Annalee Davis, Feral Practice, Deirdre O’Mahony and Pauline Woolley.
Ranging from the outer reaches of the skies, to the forgotten practices associated with land use and the surface of the soil, to deep into the earth’s hidden underground networks, each work reflects on the rural, reconstructing meaning and connections. The exhibitions are launched at Haarlem Periodical, our new, curated platform for one-off exhibitions, writing and commissions, and at our gallery in Wirksworth.
Annalee Davis works at the intersection of biography and history, focusing on post-plantation economies through a particular landscape on Barbados. Her studio is located on a working dairy farm that once operated as a sugar cane plantation, but now offers a critical context for Davis’ practice. Digging into the soil to mine 17th and 18th-century pottery sherds, and poring over family and public archives, the artist unpacks the multi-layered history of this former plantation to examine its present-day remains. Davis’ work for Haarlem’s inside and outside spaces presents drawings on plantation ledgers, a specially commissioned sculpture responding to the 18th century origin of the building as an industrial cotton mill, and photographic documentation of an act of remembering and forgetting.
Feral Practice works with human and non-human beings to create projects and inter-disciplinary events that develop ethical and imaginative connections across species boundaries. Their research draws on artistic, scientific and subjective knowledge practices to explore diverse aesthetics and create suggestive spaces of not knowing nature. Feral Practice’s sound work for Haarlem Online is a guided meditation choreographing a connective journey down through the human body and into a dynamic, semiotic underworld of living soil and mycorrhizal mycelium.
Deirdre O’Mahony’s practice is informed by a deep interest in rural sustainability, farming, food security, and rural/urban relationships. Her work at Haarlem Online presents image and text works from her ten-year research project SPUD, which investigates the role of the potato in Irish culture, from its early arrival in Europe and the Irish potato famine, to concerns around food security today.
Rooted in the aesthetics and practices of painting, photography, landscape and astronomy, Pauline Woolley’s work for re: rural turns images taken with a homemade pinhole camera into a new moving-image work tracing the daily movements of the sky from Woolley’s garden over a period of twelve months during which her father passed away.
Haarlem Periodical will be live from 11 September.
Opening event 7pm 11 September followed by the Wirksworth Festival & Northern Light Cinema outdoor film screening at Haarlem Mill.
Haarlem Artspace would like to thank our generous supporters without which our Autumn exhibition would not have been possible. Thank you to Arts Council England for their Emergency Grant funding and rent support during the Covid-19 crisis from Wardman Bros.
Cover Image Sweeping the Fields, Annalee Davis, photo credit Helen Cammock