Living Today : With information from the George Orwell Archive
Matei Bejenaru, Ross Birrell, Francis Cape, Jens Haaning, David Harding, Ângela Ferreira, Eva Merz
15 January – 5 March 2011
Preview: Friday 14 January, 6-8pm
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm,
Saturday 10am-2pm, Sunday closed
Free admission to gallery
This group exhibition presents artists whose work explores aspects of the society they live in – politics, culture, economy, living conditions and social structures.
Included are copies of information from the Orwell Archive, University College of London, relating to George Orwell’s 1937 publication “The Road To Wigan Pier” which, commissioned by Victor Gollancz and published by the Left Book Club, documented poverty in the north east of England before the Second World War.
Matei Bejenaru (Romania) makes work that analyses the way in which globalization affects post-communist countries’ labour forces. Past works include a Travelling Guide for Romanian illegal workers. The focus of Francis Cape’s (USA) artwork took a dramatic shift following a visit to New Orleans in 2005, just two months after Hurricane Katrina. After witnessing the destruction of lives, buildings, and an entire city’s infrastructure, the artist turned to a combination of photography and construction, and began exploring themes of rescue and recovery efforts, social neglect, and design for living. Ângela Ferreira (Portugal), born in Mozambique and living between both South Africa and Portugal, explores ideological and economic issues between cultures. Jens Haaning (Denmark) looks at those living in society’s margins, in particular refugees.
As part of the exhibition we are publishing ‘You, Me, Them & Us’, by Eva Merz, a Danish artist living in Glasgow. This book contains series of interviews offering different perspectives, opinions and first-hand experiences of the Women’s Prison System in Scotland. Ross Birrell and David Harding make a trip to Wigan in response to this exhibition, to read from “The Road to Wigan Pier”.