19 March – 26 June 2016
Free to all
The artist's biggest UK show to date includes a brand new commission.
As part of The Grand Tour programme Turner Prize winner Simon Starling presents a theme of industry in his new exhibition, alluding to the huge changes in manufacturing trade from the industrial revolution to high-tech contemporary technologies. Research for Red, Green, Blue, Loom Music began in Turin, where Starling examined the high quality fabrics and trimmings produced by a family-run company that still use an 18th-century automated technology to program most of their looms. This amazing punch card process has been all but lost elsewhere, though it does allude to the the historic Lace Market that surrounds the gallery.
Other physical forms of transformation and journeying permeate elsewhere. The newest piece (made specifically for Nottingham Contemporary) began with the construction of a boat made from magnesium extracted from the politically contested waters of the Dead Sea. After the exhibition has ended Starling hopes to cross the waters in his vessel, in what is sure to be a fraught geopolitical journey.
The physical properties of photography are magnified and distorted in three-dimensional sculptures derived from particles taken from 19th century prints, including a floor of glass balls that can be viewed as a half-tone image when viewed from a raised platform.
In a special partnership with Derby Museums the show will also include The Alchymist Discovering Phosphorus by Joseph Wright of Derby (the foremost painter of the Scientific Enlightenment) while Derby Museum and Art Gallery simultaneously displays a series of daguerrotypes made by Starling.