The Bluecoat has unveiled not one but two summer exhibitions at its School Lane base.
It is hosting a series of work by London artist Shezad Dawood including his epic film series Leviathan which follows the migratory patterns of people between Africa and Europe.
The film explores the connection between mass migration and marine conservation, and in particular how the journeys made by human migrants mirror the tumultuous ecological changes in the sea over which they travel.
This exhibition combines the themes of marine biology, climate change, political systems and mental health, to show how human activity and marine ecologies are intertwined.
Bluecoat is showing the first five of what the artist hopes will eventually become 10 film ‘chapters’ – with the screening of chapters four and five being a UK premiere.
The show also features a number of neon works and textiles, and a new interactive virtual reality work which explores what the future may hold for marine biology in a world heavily affected by climate change.
The second exhibition encompasses works by artist Grace Ndiritu who returns to the Bluecoat after showing work at the gallery in 2010 and 2017.
The Ark draws on her 2017 research and live art project, The Ark: Center For Interdisciplinary Experimentation, which took place at Les Laboratories Aubervilliers, Paris and which in turn drew on the artist’s own experiences of living in New Age communities.
Scientists, artists, gardeners, economists, a chef and spiritual workers joined the artist for an intensive nine-day experience where they focused on radical new ways of thinking about art, science, spirituality and politics in order to suggest possible solutions to the problems of the 21st Century.
Ndiritu now opens her research to the public, sharing archival materials generated from The Ark at the Bluecoat.
Bluecoat head of programme Adam Smythe said: “The timing of these two exhibitions feels very appropriate, with stories regarding migration, climate change and our relationship with the environment very much in the news at the moment.”
Both exhibitions are at Bluecoat until October 13 and are free.