Major exhibition from Birmingham-born artist, inspired by his own and other gardens, highlighting the relationship between humans and their environment in the current Anthropocene geological age.
Dear Nature is centred around a book of letters Newling wrote to nature every day for 81 days, the written communications with the environment exploring our descent into the "strangest nihilism without purpose and feeling" are juxtaposed with photographs of the new life of flax seedling growing in Newling's studio.
Rooted in Conceptual Art, Land Art and Arte Povera. this experience marked the beginning of Newling's interest in the meaning of 'place', that place being the domestic back garden as much as it is the whole world. Further works on this theme including Soil Books (2019) sculptures inspired by leaves found on the everyday ritual of walking from his house to his back garden, Waste Land Soil (2018) and Eliot's Note Books (2017) are all included in the exhibition.
Also on display at Ikon will be Nymans Language (2017) a grid of marble slabs displaying a new alphabet based on leaves found in the aforementioned National Trust Garden. The leaves were pressed, photographed and assigned to letters from the alphabet, they also exist as an officially registered font - Nymans typeface.
This exhibition is available online. Three videos on Ikon’s website take the viewer inside the exhibition, starting with a tour of the outdoor works from the artist himself. Ikon has also published a series of letters exchanged between Newling and writer Alys Fowler on their daily walks.