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Viewing Our Time on Earth at Barbican Centre

Art can be a reflection of how we see the world; it can also open our eyes to new ways of seeing. The Barbican’s new exhibition Our Time on Earth aims to walk you through this shift in consciousness physically, starting with the idea of Belonging, moving through Imagining, before you Engage. Intrigued? That’s step one.

Our Time on Earth wants to transform the conversation around the impending climate emergency through art by encouraging visitors to take an active role in the exhibition. You’ll enter into Sanctuary of the Unseen Forest by digital art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, an immersive video installation offering a window into “tree time”. After contemplating humanity’s role as just one species among millions, it’s on to IMAGINE, presenting alternative value systems, with installations from Superflux; Brazilian intersectional Indigenous-led collective Selvagem; Symbiocene; Institute of Digital Fashion; environmental activist George Monbiot, and more. Revved up with possibility (think creative potential, not cars!) ENGAGE offers ways to get involved with creating this new utopia. Don’t miss Sonic Waterfall, the sound and light installation by Silent Studios inspired by their work with Damon Albarn on his solo album The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows.

The exhibition will take over the whole centre, with free interactive and digital exhibits presented in the Barbican’s public spaces and live events set to be announced. Running until the end of August, why not drop in as an escape from that unseasonably warm summer sun… Will you leave feeling inspired to make a change?

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Dates
05 May 2022 — 29 August 2022

Viewing Tom Anholt, New Lands at Josh Lilley

Glittering figures battle against shards of rain, wading through waist-deep water and hiding behind trees slicked black against the bright snow. We’re not in a Bear Grylls survival camp – we’re at Josh Lilley gallery for the opening of Tom Anholt’s New Lands exhibition.

As famously stated in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, ‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived’ Inspired by Walden, in this show, Anholt’s protagonists go to the woods. They traverse across land and sea, eerie colours emerging in the moonlight. Their destination is unknown but important, the figures’ quiet deliberation visible in the journey. The New Lands presented here are the place of myth, of exiled kings and Shakespearean heroes.

Berlin-based Anholt typically works to a theme for each exhibition, having previously completed a series of portraits and of trees, allowing him to work across several shows at once. On his creative process, he quotes Picasso: ‘With constraint comes creation’.

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Dates
28 April 2022 — 28 May 2022

Viewing Caroline Walker: Lisa

Caroline Walker made headlines back in February with Birth Reflections, her moving exhibition at the Fitzrovia Chapel exploring life on a maternity ward. Now she’s the subject of a new solo show at Stephen Friedman Gallery that traces the daily life of her sister-in-law Lisa as she becomes a mother. You’ll see Lisa packing a bag for the hospital, watching television whilst feeding the baby, and folding items of clothing into a drawer. Also worthy of note are the artist’s intimate studies of night feeds.

Walker’s personal portrayals of those close to her are carefully constructed and demand slow, considered looking. She begins the creative process by shadowing her subject and taking photographs of key moments that define their daily routine. Using this photographic material as a reference point, she then creates loose pencil and charcoal drawings, technical compositions and oil sketches. Her paintings are produced freehand from this preparatory material.

Walker explains that the works ‘combine a factual record of something that photographs represent, and my memories or emotional response to being in a particular place or spending time with the people I paint’. Prepare to stop, stare, and be seduced by her vision.

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Dates
29 April 2022 — 28 May 2022
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