In our galleries, we showed paintings by Jadé Fadojutimi, exploring how our identity is constantly being shaped by our environments, films by Laura Huertas Millán and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, and sculptural works by Roland Persson, Kathleen Ryan and André Romão, all of which propose ways in which we are connected to the world beyond our physical boundaries, considering ourselves as nature, not just part of it.
The artworks suggest that we are not sealed off from our environment, but are porous. For example, our skin is porous and lets in moisture and other particles from our surroundings. But even hard, solid objects like rocks and concrete can be porous. When we recognise the constant exchanges between objects, plants and animals, we also reject the idea that humans are separate from nature. Instead, new and more equal relationships come to light.
On the exterior wall of our building along Blundell Lane we presented Jorgge Menna Barreto’s mural Mauvais Alphabet, featuring entangled drawings of common edible weeds found in Liverpool.
Barreto invited students from Liverpool John Moores University to explore the city centre looking for plant life, and to interpret what they found through drawing, painting or even performance. Working with local mural artist Anna Jane Houghton, Menna Barreto transformed the findings into the finished work, a large scale, colourful mural with entangled, zoomed-in details of the weeds the students chose. Mauvais Alphabet highlights often unseen and unwanted plant life in the city centre, while commenting on it’s vital role in the ecosystem.
The work is a culmination of Menna Barreto’s durational project Environment Sculpture, which also includes a publication, Enzyme #2 Life Systems. This publication features research into how our environment is shaped by what we eat and how we live. Find out more about Menna Barreto’s work here.
Take a virtual tour of the show below