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Week 4: Educational Visit (ART724)

Updated: Mar 15

Week beginning 22nd February 2024

Educational Visit


18 JANUARY - 31 MARCH 2024

LOOK Climate Lab is a biennial programe exploring how photography can be a relevant and powerful medium for talking about climate change. Starting from 18 January 2024, we’ll transform the gallery into a lab: bringing together researchers and artists to test their ideas and encouraging our audiences to discuss systematic changes needed for dealing with the climate crisis.

LOOK Climate Lab 2024 will take place from 18 January 2024 to 31 March 2024, with a private view and launch of an exciting We Feed The UK  project on 8 February, 6–8 pm. This year we’ll work with the topics of rewilding and industrial heritage, growing food and regenerative farming, transport and pollution, capitalist production and impacts of war. The events programe includes workshops, artist talks, poetry readings and film screenings. All the events are free.

Gallery 3 will be turned into a cinema, showing Grow to Eat by Coulson and Tennant commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society, Imagine Bamboo and The Balance Garden – short films about community growing, sustainable building and gardening to promote mental health.

Max Gorbatskyi, Open Eye Gallery’s curator, said:

We’re affecting the world around us, often in ways which we don’t even recognise. When taking a photograph today, it is probable that you capture a result or a cause of the climate crisis since its manifestations are ubiquitously around us.

Photography is capable of registering and representing, being essentially a trace itself. It provides us with a means to trace the changes we cause or the changes we can make to tackle climate change today. Photographs can comfort us, make us observe melancholically and passively the aesthetically attractive disasters; they can demonstrate rather poignantly the point between existence and loss, and by this, they can make us feel powerless. But at the same time, photographs can visualise the approaches and possible actions we can take to address the problems and bring change.

We’ve invited photographers, researchers and partners from different domains to share their observations and ideas on how we can make human-nature relationships more sustainable and fair. 

Projects include:

Erosion by Stephanie Wynne. A photographic exploration of how the structural ‘waste’ of WW2 was disposed of or reused. Tonnes of rubble from the bombed homes of Liverpool were dumped on the coast at Crosby, post 1945. With the dreadful current conflicts around the world, can post-conflict waste be reused, recycled and, more importantly, reduced?

Kherson by Nazar Furyk. Over the past year, the photographer visited the Kherson region several times, including  immediately after the blow-up of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam. Those photographs didn’t capture direct military action, but there is tension, heat, pain, and emptiness. 

Executive Decision by Mishka Henner (Artist in Residence at Energy House 2.0, University of Salford). Working with AI, Mishka Henner sculpted imagined scenes from real documentary photographs. The title alludes to the decisions made in government offices around the world that have brought us to this present condition. 

Cirrus Aviaticus  by John Davies. These B&W infrared photographs are of the north sky above Liverpool and Lancashire, showing condensation trails and contrail-induced cirrus clouds produced from jet engine exhaust fumes. Scientific research suggests they are the largest net warming component of aviation emissions.

Strange Eden by Mario Popham. Through a combination of photographs, use of site-specific materials and processes like coal and rust, together with tentative collaborations with AI, the work asks us to consider the complicated beauty and history of the postindustrial green spaces, the strangeness of our actions there and how we as a species might find ourselves back into a better accord with our environment. 

Co-creation with the Environment – research project in Wigan Flashes by Lizzie King. Lizzie King shares her work in progress, exploring a scene where we have destroyed the natural, and the non-human living species have adapted to live and thrive in what is now a site of stunning post-nature beauty. This work is part of the residence programme in Open Eye Hub in Wigan.

Intervention and Renewal by Johannes Pretorius, from We Feed The UK series. The project documents three generations of the Robinson family working at Strickley, their organic dairy farm in Cumbria. On it, they also manage kilometres of species-rich hedgerows and are actively rewilding woodlands and wetlands. All ten We Feed The UK stories will be revealed on the 8th of February.

We Feed The World, commissioned by Gaia Foundation, shows stories from agroecological, small-scale farmers who not only provide the majority of the world’s food but also offer solutions to many of our current crises.

Urugo by Hellen Songa. On a long journey through Africa Hellen seeks to discover the social and creative ecological activities of African communities, particularly her mother- and fatherlands – Rwanda and Zambia, and the impacts of these activities on the whole planet’s climate and local ecosystems. 

Home Grown Knowledge by Gwen Riley Jones. Gwen Riley Jones has been collaborating with growers in Rochdale community gardens to share their stories of growing and what it means to them. This project is in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society.


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