Self-Seeder - Saturday 9 - Sunday 24 November


Jocelyn McGregor, Hattie Moore and Julia Parks present a new body of art works following a residency at Florence Art Centre. The interconnectedness of plants and humans can be clearly seen at the Florence Mine site; the red of the rusted mine buildings and haematite rich ground contrasts with the vibrant green of the Cumbrian flora. Using this as a starting point, their exhibition 'Self-Seeder' is an exploration of plants and industry in the Cumbrian landscape. 


Using her own body as a starting point, Jocelyn seeks the point of transition between internal and external, organic and manufactured, real and imagined worlds. By reconfiguring domestic and industrial materials, she blurs the boundaries between the natural world and the manufactured one to create a super-natural hybrid of the two. 

Hattie's work is an alternative design proposal for a new section of garden at Florence Art Centre. She has developed a plant list based on the wild Cumbrian plants mentioned in Norman Nicholson's poems, such as 'The Bloody Cranesbill'. She has also chosen orange and rust coloured plants that reflect the colour of the haematite puddles at the mine, as well as plants with latin names referencing iron and blood. From this plant list Hattie has created drawings and sculptural works made from a variety of materials, recreating an atmosphere that such a garden might produce.

Julia Parks presents two new films. The first examines how the iron and steel industries have shaped the landscapes around Florence Mine, Workington and Harrington in West Cumbria. Conversations and field recordings explore the hidden presence of these industrial landscapes in local memory. One man describes goldfish living in the cooling ponds of Workington's historic steel plant, and dog walkers reflect on the 20th-century geology and fossilised remains of in the slag banks. Her second film shows us contemporary production in West Cumbria captured in animation, from shoemaking to flower growing, she reminds us that Cumbrian industry is more than fossils and memories; it is a thriving part of life in the area.  

In 2019 and 2020, Florence Arts Centre will be joined by artists including: Carolyn and Frances Marr Hattie Moore, Jocelyn McGregor and Julia Parks Kate Davis, Shaun Blezzard and Kirsten Taylor Amy Johnson in a residency programme entitled A Sense of Place, funded by Arts Council England. The programme aim is to use the unique perspective offered by artists in understanding the wider cultural and historical relationships that make places what they are, and in the case of the area where we are located, that can reveal something new about the role that science and technology have played in the development of this place, linking its cultural heritage to the present and future. More details of the residencies and opportunities to engage with them will appear on the website over the next two weeks, so check back. In the meantime, our next exhibition, ‘Not just a postcard’ which runs from 28th September – 2nd November 2019 includes the artists in conversation on Saturday 28th September 12.30 Irene Godfrey and Maggie Learmonth present an exhibition of paintings and drawings arising from their personal response to differing experiences of West Cumbria. ‘Not just a postcard’ explores how we see a landscape and how we record the experience of seeing it whether it’s a direct visual representation of the topography, whether it’s an abstraction of that or whether it’s recording in some way the memory of experiencing the landscape. Godfrey’s response is threefold: improvisation and recent memory using the materials at hand; social engagement with past and present; a perceived resonance between West Cumbria and the North Pennines (where she spent her childhood) in particular the fells and evidence of mining extraction. Here landmarks are similar but different: Cumbria’s lush sphagnum carpets contrast with the Pennines’ dry grouse moor patchwork; chimneys for ventilation compare with flues for condensation. Learmonth’s response explores the feeling of being in a landscape and questioning what is a landmark. Her paintings start from a moment, a glimpse of something, a feeling or an experience. From that initial encounter they evolve sometimes into a simplified form, sometimes into something more romantic in style. Either way they remain landmarks, not just acting as way-markers but simultaneously pointing to the future and provoking memories of the past. Maggie Learmonth is a Cumbrian artist living and working in London and has exhibited throughout the UK and Europe since graduating in Fine Art from the Cass School of Art, London Metropolitan University in 2011. She has work in private collections nationally and internationally. Irene Godfrey was born in the North Pennines and lives and works near Gravesend in Kent. She graduated in Fine Art (London Met) in 2012 and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Ecology and Environment from Birkbeck College. Her work is in the London Metropolitan University collection and in private collections across the UK. www. @irenegodfrey @maggielearmonth

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Florence Mine, Egremont, Cumbria, CA22 2NR | 01946 824946

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