Newcastle academic opens new installation at London Gallery

Written by News

Professor Rachel Armstrong from Newcastle University has joined forces with artist Cécile B Evans to create a new art installation. The exhibition is based at Whitechapel Gallery in London’s East End, and is now open to the general public.

 The exhibition is called ‘Is This Tomorrow?’, and is taking centre stage in the gallery. Taking its inspiration and title from the 1956 exhibition, the public can witness 10 immersive projects depicting different ideas of what the future holds. The work came together through the collaboration of 37 different artists and architects.

The different projects take on a range of 21st century issues, from climate change and migration to technology and spirituality, and are presented in a variety of mediums such as models, environments, objects, and films.

Professor Armstrong is a Professor of Experimental Architecture at Newcastle University. The installation she created in tandem with Evans includes microbes, a curtain of fog, and other elements within frameworks dictated by unorthodox units of measurement. An example of their work you can see at the gallery is the creation of a 13sqm surface area, as this is suggested to be the smallest acceptable amount of space for human living.

The microbes within the installation will take the form of ‘Living Bricks’, which were developed as part of the €3.2m Living Architecture scheme of which Professor Armstrong is the main coordinator. These bricks are able to convert sunlight into electricity, as well as recycling wastewater.

Upon working with Evans, Professor Armstrong said “the collaboration with Cécile prompted us to set new challenges for what architecture might be. Working with [Professor] Ioannis, whose pioneering work with microbial fuel cells took ‘sustainable’ technology to a new level, made it possible for us to start designing with metabolism. This is a new field and one that we are now pioneering.”

The gallery is also aiming to immerse children into the exhibition, where they are welcome to work with artists, and play with images and sounds to create their visions of the future.

‘Sinister and fun… gives everyone something to think about.’ – The Observer

 The gallery is open six days a week, and tickets start from just £12.50. ‘Is This Tomorrow?’ runs until 12th May 2019.

Last modified: 23rd October 2019

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