Wallace Heim, 'Sculptures by Wallace Heim, x=2140'
Opens Friday 22nd February (with a special opening event; Wednesday 26th 2pm-7pm) - Closes Saturday 28th March.
X = 2140
In the coming 120 years, how can humans decide
to dismantle, remember and repair
the lands called
Sculptures by Wallace Heim
Florence Arts Centre
Egremont, Cumbria CA22 2NR
22 February 2020 – 28 March 2020
Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 – 16:00
opening launch 26 February 2020, 14:00 – 19:00
There will be five human generations between 2020 and 2140, the year by which the
Sellafield site is to be fully decommissioned, its purposes changed and its legacies cast. Each
generation will make decisions on this future while enduring unpredictable ecological
changes and uncertain political, economic and technological conditions.
Wallace Heim’s three sculptures play with the iconic architecture of Sellafield, to create
metaphoric ‘fonts’. The sculptures offer ways of thinking about a decision outside the
everyday and its usual procedures. Fonts are devices for acknowledging the past, for
marking the present and sending hopes for a future. The sculptures ask about what kinds of
knowledge will be useful; what different forms of clean-up and remediation will be needed;
and what it feels like to care for the soils, waters, stones and living beings on whom these
generations of humans depend.
The exhibition is part of the ‘Sellafield Site Futures’ project by an interdisciplinary team at the
University of Manchester, looking at the contentious history and future of the site. The researchers
hosted three workshops in the summer of 2019 in Whitehaven, bringing together participants from
West Cumbria, some affiliated with the nuclear industry and supply chain, others working in the arts
and heritage sectors, scientists and ethicists, and others engaged in conservation and ecological
initiatives. Heim’s sculptures are a response
to the questions and conflicts that were raised.
The exhibition is supported by The University of Manchester’s Beam research network and Dalton
Nuclear Institute and is funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
Wallace’s work spans sculpture, theatre design and philosophy. She also writes and produces spoken word audio pieces. Her field is art and ecology, with a focus on how art and performed works create an understanding of nature-human relations, in times of climate instability. She has exhibited in London, the United States and Kassel, Germany. She was the designer that started the Gate Theatre in London. Her academic work is trans-disciplinary, with a basis in environmental philosophy, aesthetics and ethics. She lives in Cumbria.