We blogged the growing eco-art movement in May and the Times (Saturday June 13th) reports on the Barbican Art Gallery’s new Radical Nature which features, amongst other exhibits, a new installation from Henrik Hakansson’s Fallen Forest, a four metre long section of tropical rainforest flipped on its side with the trees growing parallel to the gallery’s planking whilst the roots point up to the skylights. Other exhibits include Simon Starling’s Island of Weeds which highlihts the problems of the invasive rhododendrum in the Scottish highlands. A few miles north in Hackney, the architecture collective EXYZT have created the Dalston Mill project. A windmill that will generate electricity and will grind flour (due to become operational from July 15th) and around the corner from Dalston’s Kingsland Station Agnes Dene’s 1980’s Battersea Park ‘Wheatfield’ installation in Manhatten will be recreated – this time growing by an abandoned railway line.
Radical Nature draws on ideas that have emerged out of Land Art, environmental activism, experimental architecture and utopianism. The Barbican say that the “exhibition is designed as one fantastical landscape, with each piece introducing into the gallery space a dramatic portion of nature. Work by pioneering figures such as the architectural collective Ant Farm and visionary architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, artists Joseph Beuys, Agnes Denes, Hans Haacke and Robert Smithson are shown alongside pieces by a younger generation of practitioners including Heather and Ivan Morison, R&Sie(n), Philippe Rahm architects and Simon Starling. Radical Nature also features specially commissioned and restaged historical installations, some of which are located in the outdoor spaces around the Barbican while a satellite project by the architectural collective EXYZT is situated off site.”
Radical Nature: Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009 is open from next Friday (19th June) to October 19th. See www.barbican.org.uk
Jo Allen’s work can be seen at www.jo2jo.com