In The Forest Something Stirred is an exhibition featuring two new commissions, Natural Error by Rodell Warner and Treeline by Ruth Maclennan.
Natural Error is a series of digital animations created from glitches in computer code. Each of these fleeting micro-sequences, ghosting up like fireflies from the surface of the screen, is of a creature (or other element from the biosphere) that is currently classified as endangered — by the encroachment of man, by rising tides and temperatures, or by habitat disruption from extreme weather events. Among them are iconic species such as the Monkey Puzzle Tree, whose disappearance from the arboreal environment is a symbol of the wider decimation of forest ecologies across the globe. But Warner also extends his gaze to other surroundings, in a bittersweet allusion to a biodiversity that is tragically being lost. Haunting harbingers of a freakish, out-of-control future that may make people see the error of their ways, Warner’s chimerical agents of disruption also offer hints that it may need a radical, counterintuitive reboot to repair the damage being done. His animations of creatures, such as the White-Tailed Eagle, that have been re-introduced to the wild offer a glimmer of hope that this can occur.
Natural Error will be available online, while Treeline is showing at John Hansard Gallery on our Digital Array. Each focus on the flora and fauna of our natural landscape, and how it is being marked by climate change. Commissioned to coincide with COP 26, the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the two works highlight the precarity of species in the face of the decimation of the environment and the loss of biodiversity.
Co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Forestry England, the exhibition is supported by John Hansard Gallery, University of Glasgow, and Arts Council England.