New art installation at Woodhorn Museum presents hopes for the future of the environment
Notice, by artist Imogen Cloët, uses sound, imagery and text to reflect the parallels between the maintenance and repair used in Woodhorn’s industrial past with today’s conservation and protection of the natural environment.
It draws on the history of the heritage buildings and hand-painted signage to invite audiences to think about society’s collective hopes for the future of the environment.
More than 300 people contributed to the piece, including local families and the Age UK Gardening Group.
Imogen said: “The banners seem particularly resonant in the current times of environmental and political unrest, protest and activism. I found them powerful and uplifting with the idea of hope for the future captured in each one.
“The original purpose of a building or room and its stories are important to me. I always create work specifically for a space, so the space becomes an integral part of the work.”
Notice features a large steel banner in the Cage Shop (and former Tanky Engine Shed) at Woodhorn Museum emblazed with the word ‘Hope’.
Accompanying the sign is a soundscape featuring the voices of local people talking about their hopes for the future of the environment. The audio also features the sound of bird song recorded in and around Woodhorn Museum.
The soundscape contrasts with the industrial use of the building, which would have been filled with the noises of a busy working colliery.
On the outside of the Cage Shop, specially made planters on the windowsills further reference the message of maintenance and repair for the natural environment, whilst a hand painted sign at the entrance – inspired by the various signs in the collections at Museums Northumberland and on-site at Woodhorn Museum – features an inspiring and humorous quote from a member of the local community about the opportunity we have to save the planet.
Rowan Brown, chief executive of Museums Northumberland, said: “Imogen has combined the messages of hope, unity and activism reflected on the mining banners with the history of the site to open a conversation around the importance of our natural environment.”
For more information, go to https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk