We are delighted to announce our new 2 year programme In Steps of Sundew. Funded by Arts Council England, this programme will see a series of artistic interventions exploring the effects that extracting resources from the landscape has upon its occupants, taking place between Fineshade Wood, Deene Park, Rockingham Castle, Corby, East Carlton Countryside Park and online from 2020-2022, curated by James Steventon, Jessica Harby and Amy Lay-Pettifer.
Sundews are species of carnivorous plants, which digest insects through the glands on their leaves in order to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which they grow.
Sundew was also the name of the largest walking dragline excavator in the world, used in mining operations in Rutland and Northamptonshire between 1957 and 1980. In 1974 plans were devised to relocate the machine to a recently opened British Steel Corporation quarry near Corby. As moving and reconstructing the machine was not viable, Sundew walked 13 miles over an eight-week period.
In Steps of Sundew retraces the movement of people and resources from the landscape as well as referencing the dragline excavator’s Great Walk, posing questions about the relationship between the natural and the industrial and how these might coexist whilst avoiding climate breakdown.
This programme is part of the Northamptonshire Surprise 2020 celebration of arts and culture in Northamptonshire.
Arts Council England commented:
As the only professional arts organisation in the northern half of the Northants, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art offer high quality arts where infrastructure is limited.
The organisation is working with new and established partners on commissioning site specific work that can be presented in many ways (public realm, learning and socially engaged practice, online platforms), therefore demonstrating that the project will strongly develop the work and skills of the organisations involved as well as the opportunity for artists to work in a new context.
The proposal presents a strong case for public engagement as the organisation is able to demonstrate both a strong track record and solid plans to engage local audiences where they operate.
Our new programme launches on 10 April 2020 with an exhibition at The Arches in Fineshade Wood, featuring artwork from Ikran Abdille, Tom Baskeyfield, Sarah Gillett, Ellie Harrison, Liz Lake, and Onya McCausland, exploring our relationship to the land and landscape. There will also be an artist talk with Sarah Gillett at The Arches Saturday, 2 May.
In Steps of Sundew will also offer a brand new series of artist led workshops for artists and members of the public, in addition to over 100 bespoke educational workshops for young people.