Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

Book Tickets

Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 | info@thebluecoat.org.uk

Support Us

Become a member

Individual | Corporate

For more information about how you can support the Bluecoat please visit the support us section

Stay up to date

Soft Estate: Edward Chell

  • Fri, 06 Dec 2013 - Sun, 23 Feb 2014
  • 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM
  • Tickets: Free

With invited artists Tim Bowditch & Nick Rochowski with Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, Day Bowman, Jan Williams & Chris Teasdale (The Caravan Gallery), John Darwell, Laura Oldfield Ford, George Shaw, Robert Soden, Simon Woolham

Soft Estate features new works by Edward Chell that explore the interface between history, ecology, roads and travel. In paintings, prints, and objects, made using a variety of materials including road dust and etched car parts, he investigates motorway landscapes, linking these contemporary environments with 18th century ideas of the Picturesque.

The exhibition’s title derives from the Highways Agency description of our motorways’ and trunk roads’ natural habitats. These soft estate verges offer refuge for wildlife, a modern wilderness in the midst of intense urbanisation and agro-chemical farming.  

Other artists interrogating similar ‘edgelands’ – familiar yet ignored spaces neither city nor countryside – exhibit alongside and in conversation with Chell. They present juxtapositions commonly experienced in edgelands, like beauty and pollution, wilderness and human agency.

Tim BowditchNick Rochowski and Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau survey largely unseen pedestrian walkways beneath London’s Orbital M25 using photography and sound. Jan Williams & Chris Teasdale travel the country with their Caravan Gallery, photographing ordinary and extraordinary details of everyday life, capturing a sense of place (or non-place).

Concrete municipal architecture and weedy waste ground are the unremarkable focus for several artists. Day Bowman’s abstract paintings become heroic gestures giving a sense of grandeur to urban wastelands, her small collages resembling ‘wish you were here’ mementoes or edgeland postcards. Drawings by Laura Oldfield Ford and Simon Woolham and prints by George Shaw engage with overlooked spaces where narratives unfold to evoke personal and collective memories.

John Darwell’s photographs focus on in-between spaces used for leisure, such as allotments or spots popular with dog walkers. Robert Soden’s paintings, created on the spot, energetically engage with his home environment of Sunderland, recording changes wrought by redevelopment.

A publication, Soft Estate, focusing on Edward Chell’s work in the exhibition and the research that informs it, will be launched with the exhibition. Fully illustrated, it includes a new essay by nature writer Richard Mabey.

Image 'Creeping Thistle' by Edward Chell 

About the Bluecoat

Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat showcases talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. As the most ...

Opening hours

Mon - Sat 9.00am - 6.00pm
Sun 11.00am - 6.00pm

Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 | info@thebluecoat.org.uk

Tweets from @theBluecoat

Feedback

Please use this form to tell us about your experience of our website.

There was an error with your details, please try entering them again.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to the Bluecoat free mailing list and we'll send you all the details of our new events

Log In

There was an error with your details, please try entering them again.