John Newling: The Map Room of the Last Islands

Woodend Barn, Banchory, Aberdeenshire
22 August – 23 September 2015

This major exhibition of previously unseen work is a powerful, and visually beautiful, illustration of the ways in which artist John Newling explores the relationships between the natural world and systems of value within society.

Since 2009, Newling has been creating art works that are constructed, primarily, through the growing, observing and preserving of Moringa Oleifera trees.  Often referred to as the Miracle Tree or Famine Tree, gram for gram, the Moringa leaves contain: seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, two times the protein in milk and three times the potassium in bananas. It is for this and other extraordinary properties of this tree that it has been referred to as the world’s most generous tree.

The paintings are maps of a kind, into and through which Newling explores his relationship to the trees and to wider ecology. They are a truly beautiful cartography of language, colour and shape; islands that Newling hopes may never be lost.

Saturday 22 August
Opening Event (Free)
12.30pm – 2pm

Discussion Workshops (Free)
3pm – 5.30pm

The workshop will be a panel discussion/dialogue and will run from 3 – 5.30pm following the exhibition opening which is 12.30 – 2pm. The panel will include John Newling, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto Collins (artists and ecologists), Helen Smith (artist), Chris Fremantle (Senior Research Fellow with Gray’s School of Art), Christine Watson (from SRUC), Charles Bestwick (from the Rowett Institute), Paulo Maccagno, Aberdeen University and Anne Douglas, Lorraine Grant and Mark Hope from Woodend Arts.

The workshop will be open to all and we expect 20 – 30 attendees. We would like to encourage an open and focused dialogue about art and ecology.  The discusion will focus on,

  • In what ways does John’s work provide insights into how the ecological challenge might be approached ?
  • In light of what we have seen and heard, what can we, individually and collectively, do to address current ecological challenges?

Buffet Supper (£10 | Available for Delegates)
6pm – 7.15pm

Book Launch and Artist’s Talk: John Newling (Free)
7.30pm

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