John Newling: Ecologies of Value
26 January – 7 April 2013
Free to all
This is the first major survey of the innovative artist John Newling, a pioneer of public art with a social purpose.
An artist whose influences are rooted in the 1960s movements Land Art and Arte Povera, John Newling creates installations that increasingly have an ecological bent.
In the past he has made witty, yet politically challenging works about our value systems. An installation about the National Lottery, in which he covered pictures of Quentin Metsys’s ‘The Money Changer and His Wife’ in silver latex and then scratched off the surface, was a humorous indictment of a national obsession.
More recent works have concentrated on society’s role in the environment and our abuses of it. This exhibition charts the artist’s career from the early 1970s to the present day.
Newling is exhibiting a sculpture of a cash machine made out of copper, the very currency we use it for.
Also on show are artworks inspired by the natural world, in particular a rare species of cabbage which has been growing in the artist’s back garden, the woody trunks of which are traditionally used to make walking sticks.
There are also tents containing Newling’s Miracle Trees, usually found in the foothills of the Himalayas.