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"The Weather Garden: Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection" opens at Towner Art Gallery
Barry Flanagan, Heap 4, 1967. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © The Estate of Barry Flanagan, courtesy of Plubronze Ltd.

EASTBOURNE.- Towner Art Gallery is presenting The Weather Garden: Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection, in which the artist-curator selects the work of twenty-six artists for a setting she has specially created within the gallery space.

The Weather Garden alludes to external meteorological weather as well as embodied emotional weather, and how environmental physical experience might affect or reflect a psychological state. The exhibition presents a shifting, impermanent environment of gently fluctuating light choreographed by local weather data, and a breezeblock floor extending the length of the gallery. Over thirty works comprising sculpture, photography and video explore what Hardy calls, ‘the, sensuality and vulnerability of the body, the relationship between body and material, human and non-human, internal and external landscapes.’

Karin Ruggaber's Relief #137, references the elements in a recent series of wall reliefs begun in 2005, which present pictorial and literal translations of rainstorms. Throughout his life, Roger Ackling made his distinctive works at the edges of land and sea, directing sunlight through a handheld magnifying glass to burn exquisite patterns and geometric shapes onto driftwood.

The implied actions and rituals contained within many of the works relate to some form of negotiation between the artist’s body and the space that contains it; in the marble and polished metal of Alice Channer’s Amphibians, in the cast aluminium waistbands of her Maxi, Mini, Midi, Midi, Midi (Mauve and Cream), and in Isa Genzken’s Blue Leather Jacket by Madeleine Pledge. In Margaret Organ’s Loop, the scale of the wire and paper construction was limited by the range of the artist’s extended arms; Veronica Ryan determined the size of her sculptural piece Territorial, by tracing the boundary between her physical reach and the outside world. The familiar mass of Sarah Lucas’s stuffed tights in Nud Cycladic 7 blurs the lines between the human and nonhuman, as do the anthropomorphic qualities apparent in works by Lygia Clark, Lynn Chadwick and Shirazeh Houshiary.

The Weather Garden also presents photographic works by Becky Beasley, Claude Cahun, Thomas Joshua Cooper and Edward Weston, exploring sculptural forms, ritual and performance within the landscape, and for the camera.

Anne Hardy said, ‘By considering the space of encounter with artworks as an active and live presence, I’m exploring how to engage with objects, materials and images that can be intimate and affecting on our own physical and emotional being, to acknowledge the interconnectedness between space, body and material.’

Hardy’s work derives from places she calls ‘pockets of wild space’ – gaps in the urban space where materials, atmospheres, and emotions gather – using what she finds there to manifest sensory and transient installation works. Her practice spans photography, sculptural installation and sound, and her work has been shown across the UK and internationally, in both solo and group exhibitions.

The Weather Garden is the eighth exhibition selected by Towner from the Arts Council Collection for the National Partners Programme following The Everyday and Extraordinary; At Altitude; We stared at the Moon from the centre of the Sun curated by Haroon Mirza; A Green and Pleasant Land; Now, Today, Tomorrow and Always; A Certain Kind of Light; and the presentation of the Arts Council Collection’s own touring exhibition, One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People, curated by Jennifer Higgie.

Artists: Roger Ackling, Claire Barclay, Becky Beasley, Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Claude Cahun, Lynn Chadwick, Alice Channer, Lygia Clark, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Jane Coyle, Hubert Dalwood, Rita Donagh, Barry Flanagan, John Gibbons, Shirazeh Houshiary, Kim Lim, Sarah Lucas, Lucia Nogueira, Madeleine Pledge, Ima-Abasi Okon, Margaret Organ, Karin Ruggaber, Veronica Ryan, Seb Thomas, Edward Weston and Cathy Wilkes.

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