Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve has launched an exciting and innovative arts programme, Wetlands Contemporary, which will play an integral part in engaging audiences with nature and science. Wetlands Contemporary will include an artist in residency programme as well as a series of public art exhibitions to be hosted primarily in the Victorian, locally-listed Engine House and occasionally across the entire site itself. Working in dialogue with the natural environment, Wetlands Contemporary will serve people of all ages and interests, and encourage them to use the space for peaceful contemplation.
Artist in Residency Programme Introduced
As part of Wetlands Contemporary, Walthamstow Wetlands will be home to an artist in residence. The programme will run for three years, with different artists interacting, collaborating and engaging with both the natural space and different users of the site. The programme will explore a variety of themes and subjects integral to the nature reserve and selected artists will make new work in response to the information and research held in local and national archives and suggested by site visitors, users and staff.
As part of the residency, artists will interpret historical, scientific and environmental ideas specific to the site, and place Walthamstow Wetlands within a national and global context. Regular events and workshops will involve audiences with the artist ranging from informal conversations with visitors, to artist-led walks, workshops, schools activities and evening events. At the end of each residency, the new work created during the time spent at Walthamstow Wetlands will be exhibited in the Engine House and across the site.
First Artist in Residency Announced - Nisha Duggal
The first artist in residence is Nisha Duggal who will work onsite between February – April 2018. Her residency will centre on the theme of migration - of birds, people and wildlife. Her initial ideas are to explore the different languages spoken by bird and human visitors alike, a “symphony of migration”. Duggal is destined to become a familiar figure onsite spending at least two days per week at Walthamstow Wetlands - meeting the people and visitors who use the site, exploring the wider surroundings and delivering events, workshops, open studios, walks and more.
New Exhibition by Jacques Nimki
At the end of January 2018, Walthamstow Wetlands will welcome artist Jacques Nimki who will be installing brand new work in the Engine House. Nimki examines ideas that challenge our normal perceptions of how we view our surroundings and ourselves. His practice attempts to rearticulate some of the complex relations between landscape and identity in contemporary culture.
Nimki has created models of plants in card, paper and vinyl which will be placed in the Swift Tower and on the Mezzanine. In the Swift Tower, the sculptural forms will give the impression of delicate and intricate plants with tendrils descending the brick walls.
Jacques will also exhibit a series of landscape drawings of the sky and water on Izal medicated toilet tissue. First produced in the 1870s, this paper is an example of one of many consumer products that have a daily relationship with the water in the reservoirs.
Wetlands Contemporary provides an exciting opportunity for visitors to view and reflect on a dynamic and sometimes unexpected selection of works that explore themes of nature, environment, wildlife and society’s ever-changing interaction with them. In doing so, the arts programme is another way in which visitors can explore, enjoy and connect with their better nature at Walthamstow Wetlands.
Walthamstow Wetlands is open daily between 9.30am - 4pm - 363 days a year. The site is free entry and accessible to all.