Always Greener, opening soon at PM Gallery in London, has been curated by new member of staff Dr Rosemary Shirley.
PM Gallery was designed by architect Sir John Soane in 1800 as his place in the country, at a time when this part of London was a rural area, its orchards heavy with fruit for the city’s markets.
But what is it we desire when we dream of a place in the country? Peace, fresh air, health, rest? To be part of a close knit community, to escape the pressures of modern living, or perhaps to be immersed in a beautiful landscape? How do these expectations match up to the reality especially when the “countryside” is so often experienced as a view through the car window?
Even in cities, encounters with the countryside texture our everyday lives. From the decision to buy an organic chicken sandwich at lunch time, to the choice to wash our clothes in “Meadow Fresh” fabric conditioner, ideas about what the countryside is and should be permeate our lives in so many ways.
This exhibition brings together artists that challenge preconceptions about the contemporary countryside and offer views of the modern rural as a complex network of co-existing tensions. Using a wide range of media including painting, drawing, photography, video and sculptural installation, collectively the art works explore the countryside as somewhere that is constructed from powerful cultural, economic and political forces; a place that exists in our imaginations as much as anywhere on the map.
PM Gallery, London
3 May – 24 June 2012.
Artists: Georgina Barney with Alice Carey, Christina Bryant, Emily Cole, Andrew Cross, Anna Fox, Tim Machin, James Ireland, The Caravan Gallery
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