Radical Landscapes – Art, Identity and Activism

Title: Radical Landscapes - Art, Identity and Activism
Published by: Tate Publishing, London
Release Date: 2022
Contributors: Emilia WILL
Pages: 240
ISBN13: 978-1-84976-812-2

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The first of its kind, this invigorating exhibition book investigates the British landscape as a site of artistic inspiration, action and a heartland for ideas of freedom, mysticism, experimentation and rebellion. Contributions from campaigners, naturalists, environmentalists and social historians explore art in the age of the climate crisis.

Throughout the twentieth-century artists have responded to the landscape in emotional, physical and political ways: from exploring themes of belonging to the land by interrogating the relationship between landscape history and identity, the enclosure or militarisation of land, to artists creating works that harness or dramatise natural earth processes. As the custodian of the national collection of British art, Tate’s climate emergency declaration points to a wider concern and care for the environment that underpins the themes in the Radical Landscapes exhibition.

Structured on three broad thematic sections; ‘Trespass’, ‘Landscape and Identity’, and ‘Climate Breakdown’, it features around 100 works from 1900 to now, and presents a radical and outward-facing image of Britain and its diverse peoples and landscapes to the world. Focussing on activism and how we value, care for, use and draw meaning from the natural landscape, the catalogue showcases an array of viewpoints reflecting the diverse perspectives in modern Britain, examining the artists’ relationship to the landscape, and social history as a stimulus for the imagination as much as action and protest. These conversations are a rare opportunity to reframe Tate’s holdings of landscape art as well as explore how we might commune with nature and collectively work towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

Featured artists include Henry Moore, Peter Kennard, Tacita Dean, Ingrid Pollard, Jeremy Deller, Rose English, Chris Killip, Derek Jarman, Yuri Patterson, Anthea Hamilton and many more.

Darren Pih is Curator, Exhibitions and Displays, Tate Liverpool.

With contributions from author and Rewilding Britain campaigner Guy Shrubsole, Green New Deal UK’s Hannah Martin, horticulturalists Hafsah Haefeji and Sui Searle, journalists Maxwell Ayamba, Anita Sethi and Damian le Bas, academics Dr Amy Hale, Professor Corinne Fowler, Dr Sria Chatterjee, Daze Aghaji, Zakiya McKenzie and Joe Crowdy, and Boss Morris dancers Alex Merry and Lily Cheetham.