This spring the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) welcomes the new national touring exhibition from Impressions Gallery – Seedscapes: Future-Proofing Nature, curated by Professor Liz Wells.
From Scottish shorelines to Arctic seed vaults, five contemporary artists explore global efforts to save plants from extinction. Threats such as war, pollution and global warming have rapidly declined plant diversity; without the vitality of seeds for the production of medicine and food, we will not be able to sustain ourselves.
Seedscapes features photography, moving image and sculpture to reveal how international artists, biologists and ecologists are responding to these increasingly concerning challenges.
Dornith Doherty documents seed banks around the world, using scientific imaging to reveal seeds in ‘suspended animation; Sant Khalsa responds to the plight of forest fires and deforestation in California; Chrystel Lebas follows in the footsteps of botanist E.J. Salisbury, photographing natural habitats almost a hundred years later; Liz Orton goes behind the scenes at the Herbarium at Kew; and Heidi Morstang journeys to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic Norwegian Archipelago.
Thoughtful and beautiful
RAMM’s Contemporary Art Curator Lara Goodband said: ‘This thoughtful and beautiful exhibition brings together international artists, biologists and ecologists to reveal the vital importance of seeds during this age of the Anthropocene.
‘2021 is the year when world leaders will make crucial decisions in the hope of preventing our climate crisis spiralling out of control. Seedscapes reminds visitors of the fragility of our natural world and how we must work together to prevent further extinction.’
The magic of seeds
The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of activities and events to bring the magic of seeds and the natural world to RAMM’s audiences and communities. Talks, workshops and seed growing activities will appeal to curious minds and those looking to appreciate earth’s plant diversity.
The programme will also explore what it means to live through a climate crisis, through events such as an online discussion with Crop Trust senior scientist Hannes Dempewolf, and seed saving workshops with Exeter Seed Bank. Easter craft activities will help make this message accessible to RAMM’s younger audiences.
Response to climate crisis
RAMM’s new contemporary art commission inspired by seeds in the museums’ collections will also be launched. Leonie Hampton is a photographer based in Devon whose work A Language of Seeds explores her family’s relationship to their garden and the climate crisis.
Seedscapes: Future-Proofing Nature is curated by Liz Wells with creative producer Pippa Oldfield. An Impressions Gallery Touring Exhibition, presented in association with touring partners The Dick Institute and Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery. This free exhibition will open with the re-opening of RAMM in spring 2021.
top image: Untitled from Splitters and Lumpers, 2012 © Liz Orton