The University of Brighton is co-hosting an exhibition and programme of events based around the Anthropocene – curated by a Brighton graduate. ‘Let’s Talk About the Anthropocene’, which is funded by Arts Council England, is the brainchild of Lewes-based artist and MA Fine Art Painting alumna Adele Gibson.
The Anthropocene is a proposed name for our current geologic epoch, denoting the period in which humankind has been the dominant influence on the Earth’s climate, environment and general planetary health.
Listen to a University of Brighton podcast interview with Adele Gibson.
When 27 July and 2 August
Where Grand Parade Gallery, University of Brighton, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY and
ONCA Barge, The Waterfront, Brighton BN2 5UU
The University’s Sallis Benney Theatre also hosts a talk by Chris Dobrowolski on August 1 in which the artist discusses his experience in Antarctica.
The inspiration for ‘Let’s Talk About the Anthropocene’ came from Adele’s fellow Brighton alumna – her course mate Christina Yeo-O’Clarey, who is exhibiting in the show. After four years of research and planning, the idea has been realised.
Of the Anthropocene, Adele said: “It is a difficult concept because people are not used to thinking about geologic timescales. It’s an important thing to consider though, because even though people are talking about climate, the Anthropocene encompasses more than that: what we’re doing in terms of extractive industries; what we’re doing to the geology, atmosphere and oceans of the planet; our waste.
“The Anthropocene encompasses all planetary systems. If you start using the word, people will catch up – and part of what I want to do with this project is get the word out there.”
Adele added that reading about the Anthropocene – and the future of the natural environment in general – can be “quite challenging”, and that she believes “art has a real power in engaging people in a different way.”
She said: “By aestheticizing this large and difficult concept, you can connect with people on an emotional level, and there is a lot of power in that. The Anthropocene has generated a lot of academic research, but I don’t think the art world has embraced it yet. I hope this event might be a catalyst.”
Brighton seemed a natural location for the exhibition and programme of events, said Adele, due to the city having the UK’s only Green Party MP and because of the suitability of the Grand Parade Gallery. “It’s a really good location for what I hope will be a very public-facing event,” she said.
The resident artists exhibiting at both Grand Parade Gallery and ONCA Barge at Brighton Marina are: Emma Critchley, Laurel Hadleigh, Chris Shaw Hughes, Sarah Hymas, Caleb Madden, Caroline Pick, Paul Tuppeny and Christina Yeo-O’ Clarey. Different artists will be available to discuss their work in the gallery space at 2pm every day the exhibition is running.
For more information about ‘Let’s Talk About the Anthropocene’ here: www.anthrotalk.com