Exhibition / 24 May – 10 Aug 2024

The World Without Us

Gareth Phillips, Ackroyd & Harvey, Mike Perry, Lauren Pitson, Sophie Gerrard, Yangzi QIU

The World Without Us
© Yangzi QIU
The World Without Us
© Sophie Gerrard
The World Without Us
© Mike Perry
The World Without Us
© Gareth Phillips

Exhibition Preview: Thursday 23 May, 6 - 8pm

The World Without Us brings together a group of artists inspiring us to look more closely at our relationship with the natural environment and the climate crisis gripping our planet.

Through their experimental and innovative approaches, the artists encourage us to consider photography’s role in climate activism and question how we care for and connect with our surroundings.

As we stand at this critical juncture for the future of the planet, the works on display serve as a rallying call to shift our perspective on nature as an infinite resource, and to consider more deeply our impact and legacy on the landscape for future generations.

The World Without Us is part of Interventions: Gallery Reset - a series of gallery ‘takeovers' made possible with Art Fund’s ‘Reimagine’ grant, providing new opportunities for artists to experiment, challenge and ask provocative questions, with a focus on themes such as identity, migration, gender, social inequality and the environment.

About Artists

Portrait of Gareth Phillips

Gareth Phillips

Gareth Phillips is a photographer exploring contemporary definitions of the photobook, creating them as objects, sculptures and installations. He has an established international exhibition and award history, and was a finalist for the 2023 Aesthetica Art Prize, The KG+ Kyotographie Japan Award, The Gomma New Flavours Award, the winner of the 2023 RAKFAF Festival Award for Sculpture and was featured artist at the Photo2024 Festival in Australia. He is an alumni and board member of the Reflexions Masterclass and is based between the UK and Spain.

Portrait of Ackroyd & Harvey

Ackroyd & Harvey

Ackroyd & Harvey make interdisciplinary works that combine art, activism, biology, ecology and history, and make reference to memory/time, nature/culture and political ecologies. Processes of growth and decay are integral to artworks that evolve through extended research interfacing their long-standing interest in local ecologies and anthropogenic climate change. Their time-based practice frequently features living plant material.

From the start of their collaboration in 1990, the artists have received international awards and prizes for their bio-chemical photographic work and have been widely commissioned for monumental artistic interventions in the public sector.

They have exhibited at the Hayward Gallery, London (2023), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, USA (2023), Royal Academy of Arts, London (2022), Somerset House, London (2022), Tate Modern, London (2021), The Ashmolean, Oxford (2018), The David Attenborough Building, Cambridge (2016), and more. They participated in the 23RD Biennale of Sydney (2022), ARoS Triennale, Denmark (2017), Colomboscope, Sri Lanka (2017) and shown work in sites of special interest including the Jardin des Plantes, Paris (2015), and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London (2012).

Ackroyd & Harvey are prominent advocates in placing the climate and ecological emergency at the centre of the artistic landscape and in 2019, co-initiated Culture Declares Emergency, a network of international and UK hubs sharing knowledge and practical support to seek justice, regenerative change and provide care through culture, heritage and the arts.

Portrait of Mike Perry

Mike Perry

Mike Perry’s photographs examine the interactions of landscape, nature and industrial society, questioning the romantic mythology of national parks as areas of wilderness and natural beauty. Among the many artists documenting ecological collapse, Perry’s work is distinct in the hyperlocal and apparently mundane nature of his subjects. Rather than epic, aerial vistas of glaciers or oil fields, Perry directs our attention to the overlooked hedgerow or the shell-encrusted flip-flop. The drama of these micro-studies are nonetheless global, holding a tension between their extraordinary aesthetic beauty and the damage inflicted upon nature by human activity. At a time when ecological collapse and a global pandemic are drawing unprecedented attention to the importance and fragility of nature, his work could hardly be more resonant.

He was invited to the first Tipping Point symposium on climate change between leading scientists and artists at Oxford University and in 2015 presented to the Treasury on climate change action with economist Nicholas Stern and artists Antony Gormley and Cornelia Parker. In 2022, Perry created Y Cae (The Field), a 15 acre experimental art/ecology space for nature restoration and engagement with artists, writers and ecologists.

Perry’s work has exhibited at National Museum Wales’s New Ground : Landscape Art in Wales since 1970, (2012), Art and The Material Landscape (2016), and Land/Sea 2021. The Royal Academy of Arts exhibitions The Black and White Room (2014), Art Made Now (2018) and Climate (2022), at the internationally curated Vita Vitale exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and at the exhibition Found, curated by artist Cornelia Parker at The Foundling Museum (2016). In 2017, he was included in the British Arts Council Collection exhibition British Landscape and The Imagination at Towner Art Gallery.

Portrait of Lauren Pitson

Lauren Pitson

Lauren Pitson is a multi-disciplinary artist based in South Wales. Her practice and research are predominantly influenced by thoughts surrounding impermanence, ecology and the form. Her work often combines photography with alternative processes by collecting, deconstructing and reprocessing materials in order to document and explore these connections.

Sophie Gerrard

Sophie Gerrard is an award-winning photographer based in Edinburgh. Her practice is characterised by a sensitive and evocative visual exploration of the natural environment and landscape and our relationship to it. Central themes in her work are people, environmental connection, identity and belonging. With a background in environmental science her work is often as much an exploration of other people’s lives and connections with landscape as her own. Her work has been exhibited widely including Paris Photo, The Martin Parr Foundation, The Photographers’ Gallery, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, OFF festival Bratislava, FORMAT International Photography Festival, The Fox Talbot Museum, and Perth Museum & Art Gallery. She has also been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Financial times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, Esquire Magazine and Harpers and her work is held in private and national collections including The Sir Elton John Collection, The National Collection of Scotland, The University of St Andrews Special Collection and Couttes Bank private collection.

Portrait of Yangzi QIU

Yangzi QIU

QIU Yangzi (Yangzi), a London-based Chinese visual artist, immerses herself in the realms of experimental philosophical analog photography. With roots in mainland China and a penchant for global exploration, her journey intertwines education and artistic discovery. Since 2012, she has refined her craft through workshops led by esteemed masters of art photography across the US, Europe, and China. Yangzi's work serves as a quest to unravel "What is Reality" and the essence of self-existence, embracing chance as a core element in her creative process. By challenging conventions and exploring new presentation methods, she pushes the boundaries of photography's definition and expression. Her portfolio, featuring series like "Rotation" and "Cloud and Stone," has earned accolades, including the Source FORMAT Portfolio Award 2024 and publication with Nearest Truth Edition. Yangzi's art beckons viewers to ponder the fluidity of existence and the enigmas it holds.