‘Soft Estate’ installation view, Spacex, 2014. Photo Matthew Heritage
Edward Chell, M2 Motorway Island, Junction 3, 2013. Oil on shellac on linen, 180 x 140 cm
Edward Chell, M2 Medway Services Eastbound, 2013. Oil on shellac on linen, 180 x 140 cm
George Shaw, (left to right) The Birthday, The Other Side, The Gamble, and Playtime, 2012. Photo Matthew Heritage
(Wall) Day Bowman, (left to right) Gasometer 4, 2011, From the Weymouth/Portland Series, 2012. (Floor) Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski with Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, Hind Land, 2013. Photo Matthew Heritage
Laura Oldfield Ford, Drift Series, 2011. Photo Matthew Heritage
Robert Soden, (left to right) Demolition, Vaux Brewery, Sunderland, and Demolition of Bottling Hall, Vaux Brewery, Sunderland, 2004. Photo Matthew Heritage
Robert Soden, Demolition, Vaux Brewery, Sunderland, 2004. Photo Matthew Heritage
Edward Chell, Yellow Rocket or winter cress Barbarea vulgaris, 2013. Acrylic on lacquer on gesso panel, 28 x 23 cm.
Edward Chell, (left to right) Eclipse, 2013, Yellow rocket or winter cress Barbarea vulgaris: Road Dust M20, 2011, and Dandelion Taraxacum officinale: Road Dust M4, 2011. Photo Matthew Heriatge
Edward Chell, (left to right) Yellow rocket or winter cress Barbarea vulgaris: Road Dust M20, 2011, and Dandelion Taraxacum officinale: Road Dust M4, 2011. Photo Matthew Heriatge
(Left to right) John Darwell, From the series An Allotted Space, 2013, Edward Chell, Leaf and Wind, Via Florigium, and Foxglove Digitalis purpurea: Road Dust M5, 2013. Photo Matthew Heritage
The exhibition ‘Soft Estate’, the title of which derives from the Highways Agency term used to describe the natural habitats that have evolved along motorways and trunk roads, looks at how green borders offer a refuge for wildlife and a modern form of wilderness in the midst of intense urbanisation and agrochemical farming.
Artist and academic Edward Chell investigates these contemporary motorway landscapes, linking them to 18th century ideas of the picturesque to explore the interface between history, ecology, roads and travel through a series of new works.
Edward Chell ‘Soft Estate’ Interview from Spacex on Vimeo.
Invited artists – Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski, Day Bowman, Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale (The Caravan Gallery), John Darwell, Laura Oldfield Ford, George Shaw, Robert Soden, and Simon Woolham – interrogate themes of ‘edgelands’, those familiar yet ignored spaces that are neither city nor countryside. Their works present juxtapositions commonly experienced in these minor landscapes, such as beauty and pollution, wilderness and human agency.
This exhibition has been organised in collaboration with The Bluecoat, Liverpool.