Castlefield Gallery: Artists and Sustainability 

Posted on 25 March 2021

Over the coming months, we will be using a section of our monthly newsletter to ask artists their thoughts on climate change and sustainability and to highlight elements of our programme which engage with these issues. We would like to explore how we understand our relationship to these issues. Valuing in particular the potential for art to open up and sustain areas of nuanced even contradictory discussion. We feel in this way art and artists can complement other realms of public discourse where progressive thinking has to resist being over simplified or reduced to polemics. 

In our upcoming programme this includes: 

Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line (13 June – 1 August 2021). Recent projects by Ellis have seen her operating within existing workplace ecosystems; making artworks which respond to the relationships between people, materials and processes. Some of her works feature loaned or exchanged waste materials, which are temporarily transformed into large scale sculpture. John Powell-Jones’ solo exhibition Cyber Junk (16 October – 19 December 2021) will include subject matter inspired by warped western ideas of progress and success, and how they inform our perception of morality. The possibly consequences of these ideas will be played out in a dialogue between our present and a dystopian future in which the horrors of capitalist and neoliberal ideology are present as cyborgs and demons. Jocelyn McGregor’s work (solo exhibition coming in 2022) involves sculpture, installation and animation. Taking inspiration from folklore, surrealism and supernatural fiction, she investigates the identification of the female with nature, the home and the machine. Ultimately in McGregor’s work, nature appears as neither friend nor foe but as an indifferent and chaotic force we must coexist with. 

In future newsletters we will be asking artists for their thoughts on how they balance the need to experiment and be ambitious with their work and materials, alongside concerns about sustainability. We will also be asking them to share any tips, advice, or discoveries they have made and what role they feel, artists and galleries can play in this vital ongoing debate.

Image: Jocelyn-McGregor, Elvers, (film-still-of-stop-motion-animation), 2020