Helen Sear: Prospect Refuge Hazard

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Helen Sear: Prospect Refuge Hazard
Fantasic For Families
  • © Helen Sear

Working with video, photography and sound, internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear invites the viewer into forests and woodlands to consider the co-existence of human, animal, and natural worlds. Highlights of the exhibition include Wahaha Biota, a major new video commissioned by Forestry Commission England and Crescent Arts; Company of Trees, which premiered at the prestigious Venice Biennale as part of ‘Wales in Venice’; and Paintball Pictures, exhibited for the first time.For over thirty years, Helen Sear has been making artworks about how humans experience landscape and nature. Prospect Refuge Hazard is titled after Jay Appleton’s influential theories on our deep-seated responses to the dangers of the natural environment, and why we find certain environments ‘beautiful’.The film Wahaha Biota (2018, 27 mins) was made during a year-long residency in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, and responds to the diverse activities that take place in the forest. A soundtrack mingles birdsong and deer calls with snippets of lyrics from the many rock concerts staged in the forest, all forming a human ‘dawn chorus’. Company of Trees (2015, 11 mins) was inspired by walking near the artist’s home in rural Wales, and features an enigmatic woman in a red dress who circles around beech trees branded with tree fellers’ numbers. Presented as large-scale projections with timed screenings, the two films offer viewers the chance to be fully immersed in the forest and experience the environment in new and sometimes surprising ways. Paintball Pictures (2018) is a series of 24 photographs that have been produced especially for Impressions Gallery and have never been exhibited before. Woodland scenes are transformed by the strange paraphernalia and brightly-coloured detritus of paintball battles, a leisure pursuit mirroring the system originally developed for forestry workers to mark trees.Other works in the exhibition include Altar (2015, 8 mins), a vignetted film observing blue tits and coal tits; Stack (2015), an 8-metre long image presented on aluminium ‘planks’ that lean against the walls; and Becoming Forest (2017), a series of photographs in which tangles of new forest growth are digitally traced by the artist.

  • Art

there’s something for everyone to enjoy! All welcome. Get creative with ‘make and take’ activities or pick up a Gallery Trail and solve the puzzles as you journey through the exhibition.

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Venue details

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