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A Coventry-based artist has been selected to create new work in response to latest exhibition

A Coventry-based artist has been selected to create new work in response to the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum’s latest exhibition - What Photography And Incarceration Have In Common With An Empty Vase

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum continues to support local creatives to develop new work through digital micro-commissions.

The Herbert received over 60 incredibly high-quality proposals, varying from sculpture to dance, but the selected artist is Ryan Christopher - a Coventry-born, interdisciplinary artist working with moving image, sculpture, painting, drawing, and installation.

The selected work is entitled ‘The Mountain Garden’ and is an assemblage of video haikus* that will immerse its viewers in a visceral space of emancipatory poetics.

This commission is a collaboration with GRAIN Projects and asked artists to respond to the theme of ‘the impact of isolation (enforced or otherwise)’ which was inspired by their latest exhibition - What Photography And Incarceration Have In Common With An Empty Vase - by international and critically acclaimed artist Edgar Martins.

© Garry Jones

The exhibition explores the impact of enforced separation and rethinks the representation of incarceration. The subject matter and focus take on a new and important resonance during the times of Covid-19 and the absence, loss, and experience of confinement that this has brought to so many people.

Similarly, Ryan Christopher’s work will explore the impact of isolation through ambiguous lenses and varying mediums.

Ryan Christopher said: “The primary aim of the Haikus will be to explore the idea of isolation as reduction and absence, as a stripping back of things, a space of clarity where the voices of the unseen, the hidden, the overlooked and the wordless begin to respond to our presence.

“I am interested in loss, absence and distance as something deeply valuable, often cultivating gratitude and sensitivity which may not have been obtained otherwise.”

Nicola Shipley said: "GRAIN Projects is delighted to have worked on this opportunity with the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and artist Edgar Martins. Ryan Christopher is an ambitious emerging Coventry based artist whose work shares similar concerns to the themes Edgar explores in his work.  The micro-commission and the one to one mentoring from Edgar Martins is a great opportunity for an artist to develop their ideas and practice."

The exhibition, What Photography And Incarceration Have In Common With An Empty Vase features Edgar Martin’s work, commissioned by GRAIN Projects, made in collaboration with inmates and their families in the Midlands and is now viewable online.

The exhibition, What Photography And Incarceration Have In Common With An Empty Vase features Edgar Martin’s work, commissioned by GRAIN Projects, made in collaboration with inmates and their families in the Midlands and is now viewable online

The commission will be unveiled online on www.culturespacecoventry.com on Friday 5 March at 12.00pm.

*A Haiku is a poetic form originally from Japan. It was traditionally used to focus on natural phenomena, everyday occurrences and seasons. It observes life with simplicity, quietly articulating the quotidian, and the overlooked.

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