Whitehot Magazine

Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis at the Hayward Gallery

Cristina Iglesias, Pabellón de Cristal, 2014. Green glass, metal structure, resin, iron powder, hydraulic system and water. 310 x 400 x 468 cm. © Cristina Iglesias. Photo: Dejan Sarić

Dear Earth

Hayward Gallery

June 21 through September 3 2023


The Hayward Gallery will be hosting an extensive climate change themed exhibition featuring over 15 artists from far reaching parts of the globe. They will represent varied cultural backgrounds and views and draw on a range of media, including sculpture, photography, video and soundscapes. Dear Earth will create an inspiring space for contemplation and reflection. The exhibition is set to open on June 21st. and run through September 3rd. Dear Earth seeks to encourage visitors to explore the unique beauty of nature and its importance in our lives. The list of artists and their origins and locations includes: 

  • Ackroyd & Harvey - British based
  • Andrea Bowers - Los-Angeles-based
  • Imani Jacqueline Brown - from New Orleans, living in London
  • Agnes Denes- Hungarian-born, based in New York
  • Cristina Iglesias - Spanish installation artist and sculptor living and working in Torrelodones, Madrid
  • Aluaiy Kaumakan - from the Paiwan Paridrayan tribe of indigenous peoples in Taiwan.
  • Jenny Kendler - lives and works in Chicago.
  • Richard Mosse - Irish currently based in New York
  • Otobong Nkanga is a Nigerian-born visual and performance artist based in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Cornelia Parker - British based
  • Paul Pulford and Grounded Ecotherapy - London based
  • Himali Singh Soin - currently works in between New Delhi and London.
  • Hito Steyerl - German based
  • Daiara Tukano - Brazilian visual artist, independent communicator, indigenous rights activist, and human rights researcher who belongs to the Eremiri Hãusiro Parameri clan of the Yépá Mahsã people (known as Tukano)

What sets this exhibition apart from others is its tone. Rather than being foreboding and tragic, this exhibition has a positive message of empowerment and hope. Rachel Thomas, Chief Curator at the Hayward Gallery and curator of the exhibition, says: 

The exhibition “Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis” brings together three generations of artists who offer us compelling ways to reflect on and reset our relationship to the major environmental issues of our time. Designed to engage us on multiple levels, their artworks are a source of inspiration, hope and resilience. This is an exhibition that aims not to breed despair, but to bring audiences closer to this overwhelming subject in ways that can spark active and imaginative responses.”

With so many creative voices in this in-depth exploration, viewers will be able to consider what is happening to our world from different approaches; from new media installations to traditional weavings, to living and growing seedlings. Furthermore, the exhibition will not merely be limited to the gallery’s rooms but will spread out throughout the Southbank Centre located on the south bank of the River Thames in central London. 

When curating an exhibition of this scale and magnitude, where to begin, is no small question given the subject matter: our planet, our home, our fellow living inhabitants. Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis is curated by Chief Curator Rachel Thomas with Assistant Curators Marie-Charlotte Carrier and Thomas Sutton, and Curatorial Assistants Debbie Meniru and Anusha Mistry. Together they create an unforgettable multi-sensory experience.

Here is peek at some of the artists and installations to look forward to: 

Looking at the earth as a living entity, Cristina Iglesias, a Spanish installation artist and sculptor has created an enveloping environmental installation that combines glass, bronze and steel, with running water in a contained space surrounded by green walls, inviting visitors to listen and feel the earth. Her installation seems alive and primaeval, her metal sculptures evocative of veins or maybe roots, these shapes have a powerful organic earthliness about them. Visitors will be able to walk through a chapel-like enclosure and commune with earth. 

Aluaiy Kaumakan, also known as Wuyuling, is an interdisciplinary textile sculptor and installation artist from the Paiwan Paridrayan tribe of indigenous peoples in Taiwan. She has been commissioned to create one of her large enveloping and flowing installations. Wuyuling’s immersive installation weaves a connection between the indigenous peoples of the past and seeks to connect with us in the present.  She brings to light a personal and human narrative in her work employing traditional techniques, weaving in concentric circles using recycled fabrics, bright colours and familiar patterns to create a nostalgic and visceral response. 

Aluaiy Kaumakan, The Axis of Life & Vines in the Mountain, 2018. Recycled fabric, cotton, organic cotton. Wool, ramie, cotton, copper, silk, glass beads. © Aluaiy Kaumakan. Courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

Jenny Kendler an American interdisciplinary environmental artist, activist, naturalist and wild forager has been commissioned to create a new, site-specific presentation of Birds Watching (2018), a large-scale sculpture composed of a ‘flock’ of birds’ eyes, each one belonging to a species of local and British birds endangered by climate change. These bird’s eyes are printed on reflective film mounted on aluminium on steel frames; the stunning jewel-like eyes draw the viewer in to look and be seen. The appearance of these eyes is mesmerising. 

Jenny Kendler, Birds Watching I, 2018. Printed reflective film mounted on aluminium on steel frame. 270 x 1220 x 20 cm. © Jenny Kendler. Courtesy of the artist. 

Richard Mosse is an Irish artist who is known for his innovative use of technology in his films and photography. He uses military-grade thermal imaging cameras; this produces a surreal, otherworldly effect, in which living beings appear as ghostly white silhouettes against backgrounds of intense, saturated colour. Mosse also uses these cameras to detect heat signatures rather than visible light, allowing him to capture striking images that are not visible to the naked eye. The viewer can now bear witness to the life print hidden in our environments. In Dear Earth, Mosse will present a new film commission that depicts the environmental devastation of the Amazon rainforest through a series of interviews with Yanomami indigenous people of the Amazonian rainforest of Roraima and Amazonas state. Mosse’s film - brings to light how we have converted nature’s utopian rainforests into a dystopian drama and is a spark for change. 

Richard Mosse, Oil Spill on Kichwa Territory I. Block 192, Rio Tigre, Loreto, 2023. Digital C print. 121.92 x 162.56 cm. © Richard Mosse, 2023. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery and carlier gebauer. 

Daiara Tukano, Brazilian visual artist and indigenous rights activist, will create monumental-scale paintings focused on forests. These paintings are so large that they span over eight metres, inviting the viewer to walk along her pictorial depictions. Her works are made up of bright, colourful and optimistic patterns that uplift and celebrate traditional Amazonian imagery. 

An example of how the exhibition will continue outside of the gallery walls, is the Queen Elizabeth Hall's roof gardens developed by Paul Pulford and Grounded Ecotherapy. This amazing organisation helps people heal through nature. The gardens are planned, planted and cared for by Pulford and volunteers recovering from addictions and other mental and emotional issues.  For Dear Earth, they have reimagined the gardens, creating a green sustainable oasis in the city.  

So whether you are a Londoner or visiting London there is much to see and experience:  One thing is certain, we are Earthlings and this exhibition is sure to hit home. WM

Delia Cabral

Delia Cabral is a curator and an international art dealer, as well as an art critic and writer. As an innovative leader in the art world for 20 years, Cabral cultivated her access to an international network of arts professionals and institutions. Having built a reputation in Los Angeles, CA as a gallery owner (Founder, DCA Fine Art), Cabral consistently gained attention for mounting dynamic and critically acclaimed exhibitions. Now based in London Cabral’s experience as an international entrepreneur informs a unique skill set which enables her to access art from global cutting edge to privately held sought after historical works. As a passionate writer and member of the British National Union of Journalists, Cabral is always looking for what’s next in art. 




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