Soil Culture: Dig It
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    Peninsula Arts Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building

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Earth – mud – dirt – grit – are all descriptions of a substance that is essential to life on earth. From agriculture to architecture through to economics and ecology, soil provides the very foundations for continued human development.

Grappling with this vital material and as part of the UN International Year of Soils 2015 the exhibition Soil Culture brings together many different perspectives to examine how this fundamental material is utilised within our everyday lives.

Peninsula Arts Gallery has been transformed into a soil-laboratory, operating as a bridge between knowledge, understanding and discovery. The parallel spheres of the science lab and artist studio are made visible alongside the display of scientific instruments of measurement and analysis.

Similar to a studio/lab the gallery is an active space with the making and testing out of new ideas that cross over art/science disciplines, and where the audience can either observe or contribute to a series of on site experiments, workshops, discussions and debates.

The Soil Culture project is part of a larger three-year initiative, which has been developed with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World in collaboration with Falmouth University. It is a contribution to the UN International Year of Soils 2015 and is supported by Arts Council England.

The gallery will change and evolve during the exhibition as artists, architects and scientists work together to relook and repurpose this fascinating and essential life material. As part of these on going investigations the gallery will host a number of live demonstrations and workshops for everyone to get involved in.


Monday 27 April to Friday 8 May - Artist in Residence, Lisa Hirmer, Peninsula Arts Gallery           

Thursday 30 April - Workshop: Hikaru Dorodango with artist Emma Saffy Wilson
Morning session: 11:30 to 13:15: Peninsula Arts Gallery
Afternoon session 12:00 to 2:15: Peninsula Arts Gallery               

Learn the traditional and fascinating Japanese pastime of creating a shiny mud ball. (Please note during each of these sessions, there will be an hour-long break while the balls dry). Mud and materials provided, but wear old clothes or bring an apron.

Thursday 30 April, 17:30 to 19:30 - Exhibition talk, Peninsula Arts Gallery               

Join the Soil Culture contributors to discuss the exhibition and their respective investigations into soil. With David Clark, Lisa Hirmer (Artist in residence), Emma Saffy Wilson (artist), Daro Montag (Associate Professor of Art and Environment, Falmouth University), Linda Watson (School of Architecture, Design and Environment, Faculty of Art and Humanities, Plymouth University), David Clark (Associate Lecturer) and Dr Rob Parkinson (Associate Professor in Soil Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Plymouth University).

Places are limited to 15 per session.

Tuesday 5 May, 11.00 to 17.00 - The Repair of Cob, Devon Earth Building Association, Jill Craigie theatre, Ground floor, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University.

Wednesday 13 May, 13.30 to 16.30 – Workshop: Painting with Pigments, with artist Pete Ward, Peninsula Arts Gallery.

All materials are provided, but wear old clothes or bring an apron. Places are limited.

Monday 20 April – Monday 18 May, The Conservation and Repair of Cob Buildings. Series of weekly events, various locations – please see flyer at box office.

To participate contact Linda Watson.

Admission to all events are free, but places are limited - please book at the Peninsula Arts Box Office, telephone: 01752 585050

The exhibition runs from Monday 13 April to Saturday 30 May 2015

11.00 to 16:00 Saturday, 10.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday

Peninsula Arts Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building

Free admission

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