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Still Life: Things Devouring Time

An exhibition exploring consumer culture, sustainability and still life

This exhibition explores the notion of consumerism through the lens of historical and contemporary still life artworks.

Bringing historic Dutch still life paintings together with works by contemporary artists Simon Ward, Dawn Woolley, Caroline McCarthy and Nicole Keeley the exhibition builds on the historical exploration of consumerisation.

The contemporary still life artworks refresh the historical genre, for example, by focusing on the issue of environmental pollution. Contemporary consumer society is characterised by an overabundance of plastic - a material which features in the artworks on display.

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr Dawn Woolley (Leeds Arts University), and is generously supported by Leeds Arts University.

As part of the exhibition reproductions of artworks are displayed around the city of Leeds. The works are on advertising drums, billboards and digital screens. The artworks are examples of the still life genre. They depict inanimate everyday objects in unfamiliar ways. The works on display include Simon Ward’s 'Signs', Nicole Keeley’s 'Tide Mark', and Dawn Woolley’s 'Relics'. Creations produced by members of the public in workshops at the Gallery will also go on display. This display of contemporary still life art replaces adverts, which encourage consumerism. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and begin conversations about consumer culture. Issues around sustainability, including pollution and homelessness are at the foreground.


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Nicole Keeley, Tide Marks series, 2017. © The Artist
Nicole Keeley, Tide Marks series, 2017. © The Artist
Nicole Keeley, Tide Marks series, 2017. © The Artist