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Second Nature at the Portico Library

4 Oct 2019 - 6 Jan 2020

Navid Asghari, Jackie Chettur, Oliver East, Louise Hewitt, Jessica El Mal, Ruth Murray, Joanna Whittle

"Second Nature brings together historic literature and artefacts, up-to-date research and new works by contemporary artists and young people to ask what we mean by ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ today and how these terms have been used throughout the modern age.

In the Georgian and Victorian eras, science was called Natural Philosophy. Eighteenth and nineteenth-century naturalists such as Alexander von Humboldt – the first to identify human-induced climate change – sought to understand people’s place in the world while questioning the use of the term ‘nature’ to justify social structures and political standpoints. Today, alternative debates around nature are reshaping how we think about our relationships with the environment.

Recent studies show that two thirds of UK adults feel they have ‘lost touch with nature’ and our vocabulary to describe it is diminishing. How might new ideas and definitions of nature affect our priorities, and can reconnecting with the living world help us find solutions to current environmental emergencies and broader social divisions?" James Moss - Portico Library Gallery Curator

I love the curation of this exhibition with art works being presented alongside artefacts with accompanying texts opening up new dialogues and narratives for the work.

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