Heather Phillipson creates new work for The Wild Escape and Art Night

Heather Phillipson

Supported by Art Fund, Phillipson's new work will be exhibited in Dundee before joining the collection at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum as a lasting legacy of The Wild Escape and Art Night.

Art Fund and Art Night are pleased to reveal the first details for Dream Land (working title), a new video commission in which Turner Prize nominated artist Heather Phillipson presents earthly life as a dream.

This major commission forms part of the programme for this year's Art Night festival, taking place in Dundee on 24 June, and will be exhibited at the Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, from 16 June to 1 July. Art Night will then gift the work to The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum.

Using archival footage from the BBC’s historical wildlife documentaries, Phillipson's video work remixes the original scenes, and moves between the intensity of wildlife footage and collaged themes with a variety of creatures guiding the narrative. The concept of the work is rooted in the dreamlike wildness that can be found on Earth.

Dream Land has been funded through Art Fund's commission grants programme, which supports the commission and acquisition of exceptional projects with significant public impact, and is part of The Wild Escape, a major project led by Art Fund inviting thousands of children across the UK to discover the amazing wildlife on our doorstep and in museum collections.

Jenny Waldman, director, Art Fund, said: 'This ambitious new work from brilliant artist Heather Phillipson will reimagine UK wildlife and inspire children in Dundee to respond creatively to the threat our environment is facing, as part of The Wild Escape. I'm delighted we've been able to make this commission possible, and look forward to its public reveal at Cooper Gallery before it comes alive as part of Art Night in Dundee this summer. We applaud Art Night for gifting this work to The McManus' collection, where it will continue to engage audiences and raise awareness around biodiversity loss, leaving a legacy of both Art Night and The Wild Escape in Scotland for years to come.'

Also at The McManus, on Earth Day, 22 April 2023, children will be able to take part in a ‘Wild Escapes Eco School’. Working with natural history curators and ecologists, they will explore the collections of creatures and nature at the museum, gathering a body of work using print, sculpture and creative writing that highlights the impact of climate change and the threat of extinction of species.

Find out more about The Wild Escape.

Watch a short video of Heather Phillipson revealing the new work.

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