Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter, EX4 3LS
Tuesday 11 October 2016 – Saturday 12 November 2016
Opening Hours: 10am-11pm
MATTHEW BROADHEAD | HEIMR
Exeter Phoenix Cafe / Bar Gallery
In 1965 and 1967 NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey organised field trips to Iceland for American astronauts to learn geology in ‘terrestrial analogue sites’. Also called ‘space analogues’, they are places on Earth with assumed past or present geological, environmental or biological conditions of a celestial body such as the Moon or Mars.
Described as “Probably the most moon-like of the field areas” in a NASA document that acts as a ‘field training schedule’, environments found in Iceland would have provided astronauts with the means to apply their practical knowledge of geology to validate their findings on the moon.
Broadhead’s field trip to Iceland was in response to the astronauts’ exploration of Earth before they went to the Moon, at a point when the geography of the landscape was largely imaginary. Similarly, he travelled beyond the frontier and into the lonely wilderness. Aspects of mythology, science, history and geography exist throughout the body of work in equal measure to present his findings.
The title of the body of work, ‘Heimr’, refers to the use of the word in Eddic myth comprising of Poetic (Elder) Edda and Prose (Younger) Edda that translates into ‘world’ but also ‘dwelling place’. Drawing on this reference and through the body of work, Broadhead interprets the complex implications of sending a man to the moon, for our species which had only previously called Earth ‘our world’ and ‘our home’. Questions ruminated in his mind pertaining to existential migration where his personal experience leaving ‘his world’ triggered a better understanding of belonging, easily wrought with uncertainty.
JESSICA ASHLEY-STOKES | TEMPORARY SILENCE
Exeter Phoenix | Walkway Gallery
Temporary Silence conveys in minute detail the lives of individuals who crave escapism.
Abandoning the chaos of modern day life, they begin to find comfort in their womb-like shelters. Fully embracing silence and a sequestered solitude, their time passes in quiet contemplation.
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