‘Harnessing the Wind’ is a metaphor for the difficulties of capturing process: difficult but not impossible - as the image of the wind turbine embodies. Creative and political processes come together in installations that reference current social issues of local and global significance, whilst remaining absorbed in the languages of contemporary visual culture.
Swiss artist Sophie Bouvier Ausländer dwells on the destructive force of wind, thinking of populations being propelled by one wind of change into the eye of another storm. Barbed wire forms the structural base for Bouvier Ausländer’s new sculptural work for Beaconsfield’s Upper Gallery. The idea recalls British Prime Minster Harold Macmillan’s famous ‘Wind of Change’ address in 1960 on the subject of decolonization.
Ellie Harrison works with political activism as her form and content. Harrison’s project-in-progress, Radical Renewable Art & Activism Fund (RRAAF) has re-imagined the renewable energy of wind power as a regenerative source of arts funding. RRAAF will be developed during the course of the exhibition to include public think-tank meetings and digital displays in Beaconsfield’s Lower Gallery, lending literal currency to the theme.
Pioneer of large-scale video installation, Monika Oechsler brings together a series of new films for Beaconsfield’s Arch Gallery. Focusing on ideologically significant architecture in Germany and Britain, the work points towards the temporal aspects of historical constructs and the shifting symbolism and politics of iconic monuments in contemporary life.
In her role as artist-curator, Naomi Siderfin is interested in capturing the diverse processes and meanings embedded in creative acts of artmaking. Her own installation in the Upper Gallery references the original site that triggered the exhibition – a wind farm in Essex – through drawing and painting (in the widest possible sense).
Harnessing the Wind arrests, for the space of an exhibition, the imaginations of four artists working in a range of mediums: painting, video, sculpture, social media, sound, public engagement – and memory, and, in so doing, captures a breath of zeitgeist – the spirit of our time.
Celebrating 20 years on Newport Street, Beaconsfield welcomes in the same week, new neighbours launching with a major exhibition of works by John Hoyland – ‘Power Stations’ – inaugurating Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery.