Simon Ryder: Bedrock & Paradox

As we enter a new epoch – one defined by our species inscribing a visible trace into the geological record through human-induced changes in the global environment – the interplay between life and the bedrock upon which it is based is gaining a new relevance. For this exhibition, Simon Ryder is showing a series of large chalk drawings, ‘Giants of Albion’, which is the first chapter of a new project focussing on the geology of chalk and how it has influenced our identity as an island nation. The next chapter (in production) will combine geology, sound and the writings of Thomas Henry Huxley to create a theatrical performance exploring how this biogenic material might guide us into a fast-changing future.

To accompany these chalk drawings, Simon is offering two other geological-based series, ‘Clay to the Power of Ten’ and ‘Pseudomorph Probes’, each of which looks deep into the ground beneath our feet in search of new meanings. All three reveal how Simon uses contemporary technologies – including computer tomography (x-ray), LIDAR (laser scanning) and scanning electron microscopes – to visualise underlying structures in order to open them to new interpretations.

The title for the show is drawn from Edward Abbey account of living close to the bedrock of southeastern Utah, Desert Solitaire.

The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World hosts Bedrock & Paradox at The Innovation Centre, University of Exeter from 19 September to 23 December. 2016. The centre is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. More details about the exhibition.

More info about the artist:, @artnucleus


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