Albarn exhibition offers ‘perfect antidote to life in London’

Written by on September 8, 2016 in Living - Comments Off on Albarn exhibition offers ‘perfect antidote to life in London’

CREATION is a visual record and documentary of the development of a living meadow in Devon, which Albarn describes as “the perfect antidote to life in London”. The meadow is home to many insects and animals, which are the focus of Albarn’s visual studies.

buttercup-archive-bee-box94-fullwidthproductFocusing on ecology and the renewal of life, CREATION features a range of mixed and multi media. From large paintings on canvas to fine pencil drawings that Albarn is known for, the show will also feature a stop animation film and a piece using electric ink which brings its own unique aural element. Musician and composer Nick Powell, who has worked extensively in theatre on productions in the West End and on Broadway, sensitively created the soundtrack to the film with his band Oskar.

Bees, spiders, butterflies, mice and birds such as the common Wren feature in CREATION. The artist’s delicate pencil work highlights the fragility of these tiny creatures, while through multimedia such as the electric ink piece, which transforms movement into sound, their energy in life is realised on a number of different levels.

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The electric ink piece began as Albarn experimented with different ways of recording life within the meadow. Discussing ideas with friend Rob Lawrence, who works for audio specialist Bowers and Wilkins, Albarn discovered a new way of communicating sound visually.

The artist incorporated a layer of electric ink within an archive sound box through which sounds of a bee, a grasshopper and a wren can be heard. Visitors to the show will be able to listen to the sound of the insects through a set of headphones, which are activated by movement.

As well as utilising new technology to bring to life her subject matter, Albarn has played with some age-old techniques such as etching. CREATION features three glass etchings, a process Albarn hasn’t used since studying art at college.


Stemming from Albarn’s appreciation of a species so crucial to the survival of the human race, the meadow is a conservation art project designed to encourage two rare types of bee, the Blaeberry bumblebee and the Shrill Carder bee.

The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust advised on the meadow set up and the types of flowers and grasses that should be planted.

If you have an interest in nature or would simply like to be fascinated by the often overlooked inhabitants of our coutryside then Creation is required viewing.

CREATION runs from Friday 2 September to Saturday 24 September at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, 42 New Compton Street London WC2H 8DA.

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