Cultural Reforesting

Remember the Future – The Research

Intertwined with our May-November 2021 main gallery exhibition Remember the Future participating artists Ackroyd & Harvey, Nestor Pestana, Bryony Benge-Abbott and Eloise Long and Vicky Moody have all spent time in residency at Orleans House Gallery.    

Each artist used their residency to lead a collaborative artistic investigation in unique areas of interest to understand more about how we might renew our relationship with nature.  

Ackroyd & Harvey

Ackroyd & Harvey pulled apart our relationship with time to reveal the generations of stories that are held within the ancestry of the cedar of Lebanon tree, a powerful example of which stands in the wooded grounds of Orleans House.  

The Cedar of Lebanon tree growing in the woodlands of Orleans House Gallery is a survivor. A survivor of gravel pits and land use, demolitions and derelictions. This tree is the focus of our research question – what does a tree remember, and what can this tree teach us? 

 Ackroyd & Harvey_Beuys' Acorns_2019_Bloomberg Arcade_credit Exploration Architecture

Nestor Pestana

Taking some of our most local residents, bats, as his starting point Nestor Pestana explored the concept of otherness and how we can creatively build empathy with species that are different to our own.  

“All ecosystems are in some way dependent on one another to exist but there is a human tendency to think that we are separate from it.  Everyone in the ecosystem has the right to use it in order to survive and to thrive within it, but to exploit and neglect all its parts is unsustainable. To change this mindset is to change the culture that contributed to its formation, and to do this is to revolutionise the world” 

Plumial Space by Nestor Pestana with Deborah Tchoudjinoff. Project commissioned by Ligaya Salazar for Fashion space Gallery, part of Arcade East's summer programme 2018. Photographs by Katy Davis

Bryony Benge-Abbott

Bryony Benge-Abbott researched how the practice of drawing of, with and in nature and in participation with others, might evoke a deeper sense of attunement with the more-than-human world.  

“From the sacred to the scientific, my interdisciplinary research will feed into live experiments with mark making as I explore new techniques to embody new ways of looking”  

This short film captures a flavour of some of the workshops and conversations that were part of Bryony’s residency. 

Many thanks to Ellie Mackay for the videography and to all of the participants and specialists who joined Bryony in wild drawing throughout the woodland, sharing their thoughts and observations here. 

Photographer Ewelina Ruminska

Vicky Long and Eloise Moody

Eloise Moody and Vicky Long engage in intergenerational activity with young and old too investigate concepts of time and memory and how these relate to imagining new futures.  

We tend to think in relatively short periods of time and want to turn our attention to a deeper future. What might people seven generations ahead need? What can we create for those who will be born into a world we cannot imagine, something to be received years on and cared for when we are long gone? 

You can find Vicky and Eloise’s residency photo-story here: Vicky Long and Eloise Moody Revisited 

Image Credit: Eloise Moody, Breaking Bread

The dates of residency for each artist currently were:  

  • Ackroyd & Harvey: Tuesday 18 May – Sunday 18 July  
  • Nestor Pestana: Tuesday 18 May – Sunday 14 November  
  • Bryony Benge-Abbott: Thursday 22 July – Sunday 19 September  
  • Vicky Long and Eloise Moody: Tuesday 3 August – Sunday 3 October  

Since the residencies have finished, the artists are busy compiling their research and will be sharing their findings soon.  

See What’s On and Latest for the latest information. 


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