'Earthbound: Contemporary Landscape from the Roberts Institute of Art' opens at Sheffield Museums

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'Earthbound: Contemporary Landscape from the Roberts Institute of Art' opens at Sheffield Museums
Installation view Earthbound: Contemporary Landscape from the Roberts Institute of Art, courtesy of RIA and Sheffield Museums.

SHEFFIELD.- The Roberts Institute of Art and Sheffield Museums announced dthe opening of an exhibition of works being displayed from David and Indrė Roberts Collection this summer. Earthbound reflects on the natural world, as found in the human imagination, and Sheffield’s own long history of the earth and ground. Exhibiting artists includes Etel Adnan, Mirosław Bałka, Phyllida Barlow, Yto Barrada, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Theaster Gates and Richard Long. It is the first time works have been exhibited from the Collection as part of the programme curated by the Roberts Institute of Art.

Taking place at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, the exhibition is curated by RIA with Sheffield Museums. Earthbound includes selected highlights from the David and Indrė Roberts Collection alongside work from Sheffield’s own collection, and spans landscape paintings, moving image and video installation, sculpture and photography.

Earthbound is framed by Sheffield’s long history of working with the natural environment and the impact the landscape has had on the life of the city; from the geography that gave rise to the 18th century steel industry to the social housing that populated the skyline during the 1950s and 1960s. The current climate emergency, our relationship to the ground beneath our feet and how the fabric of our landscape is changing are further reference points for the exhibition. Earthbound also includes works referencing ritual and conceptual uses of materials, as well as documentary-style works about the land itself.

This collaboration with Sheffield Museums is an important part of RIA’s commitment to ensuring the David and Indrė Roberts Collection is visible nationally and accessible in a range of locations. By launching the first exhibition in RIA’s programme in Sheffield and pairing a private collection alongside the city’s public one, both RIA and Sheffield Museums hope to encourage a wide range of audiences to engage with the works in the exhibition. Earthbound is the latest exhibition in Sheffield Museums’ continuing Going Public programme, which explores opportunities to share private collections within public institutions.

The exhibition has been curated by Ned McConnell for RIA with Louisa Briggs for Sheffield Museums.

Ned McConnell, Curator, Roberts Institute of Art, said, “Collaborating with Sheffield Museums is an exciting moment for us, and demonstrates our commitment to sharing our Collection with a wide range of audiences, in many different locations, and responding to local contexts and partner collections. We feel that this exhibition is timely, as it asks us to look again, following the past year, at the Earth, it’s vastness, it’s role as our home and our responsibility towards it, and our recent renewed connection to Earth, which many of us have felt.”

Louisa Briggs, Exhibition and Display Curator at Sheffield Museums said: “Historically, Sheffield is a city shaped by its environment – the steel industry developed here is a direct result of the local topography. Over the last year, our green spaces have offered us comfort and we’ve reflected on our connection to the world around us, and the need to safeguard it, perhaps more than ever before. We’re delighted to be working with the Roberts Institute of Art to explore our relationship with the landscape in this timely exhibition at the Millennium Gallery”

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