Artist Talk: Gregory Herbert (July Castlefield Gallery Associates session)

27 July 2021 / 18:30-20:30

This event is part of our regular programme of Castlefield Gallery Associates sessions and is free for Associate members to attend and £6 for non-members. Castlefield Gallery Associates is our membership scheme for artists, curators and writers working in contemporary art; more info at

This talk will take place on Zoom. Pre-booking is essential at Eventbrite.

For the fourth in our series of artist talks on the theme of Communicating Across Boundaries, Liverpool-based Gregory Herbert talks about his investigations of symbiosis and co-evolution in works such as We Are Symbiotic, Club Myrmecophytes, and Mesocosm.

We are Symbiotic, commissioned by FACT in 2020 as part of FACT Together, is a meditative video narrative exploring the movements of fungi, sea slugs, frogs, octopuses, sea anemones, gut flora and lichen. The 10 FACT Together artists and artist groups received grants of £1,500 each plus 3 months of support to create work from home; the scheme was set up in response to the financial uncertainty caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the temporary closure of galleries and museums across the world.

Club Myrmecophytes is a short film about the Myrmecophyte plant which lives in a mutualistic relationship with ants, giving the ants shelter and food, in exchange for pollination, seed dispersal, nutrients and defence.  Mesocosm looks at how we could interrupt pre existing plumbing systems to create a network of independent organisms that live alongside each other. Mesocosm questions the interactions in ecosystems that are being effected by ‘hyperobjects’ such as global warming and looks at how survival might look in the future, by using pre-existing models as a starting point to developing new ideas.

In Building Your Partner Ecosystem: Who Are Your Potential Partners?, Herbert, Matthew Verdon and marine biologist Alex Curd amalgamate the ideas behind tech corporation and scientific models of ecosystem management to explore the phenomenon of coral bleaching. The work(s) produced are a hybrid form of collaborative and individual works which exist and function individually while being inextricably linked through the discursive process that has occurred between the artists from the very inception of the project.

Gregory Herbert is a British artist working with sculpture, film and installation. Herbert’s practice explores the vast entanglement of interactions that organisms and non-human entities have within their environments, Herbert often taking influence from models of collaboration and coexistence.

Gregory Herbert (b.1990, UK) lives and works in Liverpool, UK. Herbert holds a MA Fine art from Manchester Metropolitan University (2019). Herbert has exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including: FACT, Liverpool, UK; Humberstreet Gallery, Hull, UK; HOME, Manchester, UK; Temple Du Gout, Nantes, France; Gallerie Boris, Montreal, Canada and Generator Projects, Dundee, Scotland. Residencies include: Paradise Works, Manchester, UK (2019); Oikos Logos, Enclave Lab, London, UK (2018) and the a-n/Castlefield Gallery International Artists’ Delegation, Budapest (2018)

Our 2021 Castlefield Gallery Associates programme of artist talks focuses on communicating across boundaries – whether that’s with non-human nature, with AI, with extra-terrestrials or with other humans. How do we come to a shared understanding across differences of mode of communication, culture, experience, life-form and to what extent is it even possible?

Other artist talks in this series have been by Feral Practice, Suzanne Treister and Mani Kambo.


Image: Gregory Herbert – Club Myrmecophytes