Hinterlands | Michele Allen

Archive Shelf Location BALTIC2022M
Publication Date 27 Oct 2022

The Weight of Ants in the World (2018–ongoing) focuses on an ancient woodland in the centre of an industrial estate in the North East of England. The work aims to manifest this site in other spaces, to mobilise the woods, considering their mass, fragility and endurance at a time of advanced climate crisis and species loss. The installation includes a video, photography, text and collected materials, which examine this ancient ecosystem across the changing seasons.

This work not only documents the woodland, but also the artist’s developing relationship with it as a site of imagination, connection and activism. Allen approaches the work as a process of bearing witness to the diversity of life held in the wood and the radical change it has undergone, and as a work of imagination, which considers how the wood might perceive the changing landscape around it.

Since 2018, the work has developed to also become a catalyst for the woods being surveyed and designated as a Local Wildlife Site and protected with a Tree Preservation Order. Allen is interested questioning the differences between protection and caring for nature whilst drawing attention to the administrative systems in place that categorise and preserve it. ask some questions about the differences between protecting something and actively caring for it.

Format MPEG 4
Related Artist Michele Allen
Category Group Exhibition/Multiple Artists
Keywords BALTIC Level 3: Art Space, Ecosystems, Landscapes, Care, Mythology, Folklore, more than human relationships, Time, Custodianship
Related Cities/Regions North East (of England), Gateshead
Related Event Hinterlands (22 October 2022 – 30 April 2023)
Related Gallery BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

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