Preview 5.30-7.30pm, Friday 31 January – everyone welcome!
Exhibition continues weekdays 12-7.30pm until 28 February
An exhibition of paintings by four painters whose work considers the personal and political aspects of humanity’s relationship with the natural world.
Once fantastical ideas offered by science fiction have quickly become scientific fact and sometimes seem unimaginative compared to current scientific research and predictions. How do we as individuals respond?
“Be aware of the time it was,
And the names of those present.
Leave nothing unsaid.
The shape and colour
Of the shadows as they pass
Will help you tell the story.
And in telling the story,
Process the grief you will feel.”
Standing Rock takes its title from the 2016-17 Sioux Indian Dakota Access Pipeline protest. It’s a painting that reflects on mortality, personal loss, the environment and patriarchal power.
“At the house I grew up in,” Joe Packer says, “You could walk straight out of the back door into a wood. It was in a small place called Shottesbrooke in Berkshire. Childhood memories involve being in the enclosed, interior/exterior space of a wood. The filtering of light through trees and foliage.” He says his paintings are not of those places, but he thinks of them collectively as “some sort of landscape and somehow connected to places familiar to me where I grew up.”
Recent works explore the geometry and imperfections in natural forms. Removed from their original context these organic and mineral specimens become icons; they appear alien and unfamiliar, inviting questions around the increasing disconnect between humanity and nature.
‘My work documents my interest in the lost and the found, what is passing out of memory and what is synthesised as trace in the landscape. Exploring lost places and capturing the essence of a moment of abandonment has been part of my practice since my earliest work, photographing the post-industrial landscape of the North East. More recently I have used these explorations of localities on the verge of returning to unofficial wilderness in dialogue with found material.