‘The World After’

 ‘The World After’
Date
26 October - 26 January 2020
Venue
Focal point Gallery

Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present ‘The World After’, a newly commissioned work and exhibition by artist David Blandy. Comprised of a film, installation and game, ‘The World After’ is a fictional tale which imagines a world after the Anthropocene era, a time in which humanity’s activities had detrimental effect on earth’s climate and environment. In this future world, human influence on the planet has faded following a catastrophic man-made ecological crisis, with those who remain having to find new ways to survive and form kin.

The project emerges out of New Geographies, a three-year partnership across arts organisations in the East of England to commission site-specific work that responds to a series of publically nominated locations across the region. As one of nine commissioned artists, Blandy’s project takes inspiration from the unique post-industrial setting of Canvey Wick on Canvey Island, Essex.

Formerly the site of an oil refinery that was only partially built in the early 1970s and never operational due to the oil crisis of 1973, Canvey Wick has for the past forty years been reclaimed by nature. Managed by nature conversation charities RSPB and Buglife, it is one of the most biodiverse areas of the UK with nearly 2,000 invertebrate species recorded on this quiet corner of the Thames Estuary.

In the film, the voice-over reimagines the Wick as a future space where flora and fauna have grown to monstrous size, the site for a future fantasy narrative. It uses poetry, myth, immersive video and a symphonic score, played by the Southend Symphony Orchestra, to create a bucolic yet melancholic mediation on who we are, and who we could be.

Filming the site over a year, Blandy returned every month to record the changes of the seasons. Using the technology emblematic of the Anthropocene era, the iPhone, the site was filmed in both macro and slow motion, revealing its rich yet hidden ecosystem. Through this magnification, minute scales of living communities are revealed as self-contained worlds, both sublime and horrifying in its detail. For more information please visit the Focal Point Gallery website This exhibition runs from 26th October until 26th January 2020.