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Wednesday 7 April 2021

Making art lets us imagine the future we want to create

Announcing our new exhibition and three year programme connecting with our site and ecosystem. 

Orleans House Gallery and its Woodland Gardens sit amongst the ruins of a grand house and grounds. But all this is comparatively recent history.  

The earliest recorded inhabitant of the area was a saiga antelope which lived in the Pleistocene era. The first evidence of people on the site are the flint tools they left behind on the foreshore thousands of years ago. This deep history reminds us that nature is constantly changing and that we share the world with other animals, plants and fungi. So why is this news and where does Art fit in?   

When Richmond declared a climate emergency in 2019 we recognised the existential threat this major global challenge poses for our society. At the same time it was overwhelming. How can we as individuals or communities share our feelings and ideas about such an enormous problem?  

Art helps. It enables us to express our emotions and to see things differently. Making art, singing songs, writing stories lets us imagine the future we want to create. You can’t be it until you see it, right?   

Cultural Reforesting is a new three year programme of  new commissions, creative programming, site interpretation, events and activities. We hope to give artists and visitors the platform for developing and sharing their ideas about people’s relationship with nature and what it means to be human and part of an ecosystem.   

Our programme begins this Spring with Remember the FutureThis new exhibition unites a range of innovative artists in our gallery spaces to show their work and spend time in residence with us investigating how we might go about renewing our relationship with nature.   

This is just the beginning of our programme however and in the coming weeks and month’s we’ll be announcing more exciting element. Our ambition is to involve educators, scientists, curators, gardeners, land managers and artists… and most importantly we hope you can be part of it too!  

Tim Corum leads Richmond Arts Service

Find out more information about Remember the Future here. 

Discover more about our plans for Cultural Reforesting here.

Featured image: Not A Wallflower, artist Bryony Benge Abbott, photo Ellie Mackay