LATEST SOLO EXHIBITION FOCUSES ON NATURAL HABITATS AROUND PORTSEA ISLAND
‘Sink or Float: An Artificial Island’, is the latest solo exhibition by Jessica Wetherly, which opens to the public on Friday 8 July 2022 at Aspex Gallery. In ‘Sink or Float’, Wetherly explores the marshland, mudflats and seagrass meadows around Portsea Island, considering the most urgent issues affecting our local waterways. Through storytelling and symbolism, Wetherly confronts contemporary challenges of ecological breakdown – inviting us to question how we build future communities that work with natural forces and shifting coastlines, instead of against them.
Since 2009, only 14% of UK rivers met Good Ecological Status under the Water Framework Directive; and in 2020, all English rivers failed to meet standard quality tests. Vital habitats with healthy and biodiverse ecosystems are being lost by both contamination of the waters and by the extraction of resources from the habitat.
…Wetherly explores the marshland, mudflats and seagrass meadows around Portsea Island, considering the most urgent issues affecting our local waterways…
…To inform her work, Wetherly has been meeting local researchers and ecologists…
To inform her work, Wetherly has been meeting local researchers and ecologists, including Dr Gordon Watson at the University of Portsmouth’s School of Biological Sciences and Richard Jones, Countryside Officer at Portsmouth City Council, to gain an insight into localised climate change. Watson and Jones will also contribute to a special publication, launching alongside the exhibition at Aspex, combining artistic and scientific research. To sit alongside the exhibition, Wetherly has published a collection of essays and poetry by artists, writers, scientists and conservationists, in a regenerative exploration of depleted wilderness and polluted waterways around British Coastlines. A copy of the publication is available to pre-order for collection during booking.
Following her participation in our biennial international group show Emergency in 2021, Wetherly was selected for our summer solo show in 2022 by artist Helen Cammock; Alessio Antoniolli, Director of Gasworks; Will Lunn, Director of Copperfield Gallery; and Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex. Sink or Float: An Artificial Island will mark the final exhibition of Aspex’s Emergency programme, which has been running since 2004.
You can find out more about the exhibition at: aspex.org.uk/exhibition/sink-or-float-jessica-wetherly