Selected Artists

Afterness

Orford Ness, Suffolk
SOON 01 July 2021 - 31 October 2021
Visitor informationTickets

In a time of plague, in the middle of another continent. I must imagine a shingle spit – Ilya Kaminsky

Afterness is Artangel’s first hybrid physical and online exhibition.

The physical exhibition, a series of new commissions by artists working across multiple mediums, takes place on Orford Ness, a windswept strip of land stretching several miles along the Suffolk coast with a unique path of white shingle reaching the North Sea. Protected by the National Trust as a nature reserve since 1995, the Ness is a decommissioned military testing site known locally as the ‘island of secrets’, where research into weaponry and covert radio systems was conducted between the First World War and the Cold War. This will be the first time visitors will discover sited large-scale artworks by artists from the UK shores and beyond at Orford Ness. 

A group of artists are making new works created in response to the singular environment and hidden history of Orford Ness, including sculpture, drawing and sound installation. Visitors will be able to follow suggested walking routes that pair the terrain with the new sited and audio artworks available to experience.

Online, a programme of commissions made on Orford Ness will be available to experience, with new work by artists Brian d'Souza, Lonnie Holley, Paul Maheke and Rachel Pimm drawing on specific points of inspiration from the visited or imagined landscape. 


Image: A pagoda pictured from the distance on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts.

Alice Channer, Lethality and Vulnerability

Read more

Alice Channer, Lethality and Vulnerability

Brambles are nature’s equivalent to barbed wire – designed to protect and deter. Inside The Shelter, a small building located next to Black Beacon, London-based artist Alice Channer will install a new sculpture comprising a tangle of bramble-like growths, shaped from rolled aluminium bars, with sharp thorns welded onto the metal. The sculpture will be presented alongside architectural models of some of Orford Ness’s distinctive military buildings, left inside the shelter, entangled with the growths that push up from the ground towards the light.   

Lethality and Vulnerability, the title of Channer’s sculpture, refers to military trials conducted on Orford Ness between 1938 and 1959 to test the vulnerability of the bodies of aircraft to attack. It also implies the soft bodies of plants and animals (including humans).

Many of the military structures on Orford Ness are now ruins, overwhelmed by the elements and overgrown by vegetation. Channer’s sculpture evokes nature’s resilience, but also the fall-out from experiments that produce mutations.


Image: The side of the Shelter building with a deer in the distance on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Ilya Kaminsky, I See a Silence

Read more

Ilya Kaminsky, I See a Silence

Ukrainian/American poet Ilya Kaminsky’s most recent work Deaf Republic was heralded as one of the most original books of 2019.

I See a Silence, his new lyric work for Artangel, combines poetry and prose to form the centrepiece of a soundscape for walking the Ness, produced by audio designer Axel Kacoutié.

Drawn to the singular ecology of the landscape and the flora and fauna that both preceded and survived decades of weapons research, Kaminsky’s ‘poetry of place’ uncannily evokes a landscape of the imagination. The journey begins at the Bomb Ballistics building, where a panoramic viewing platform looks out across the vast shingle stretching towards the sea.

I See a Silence can be experienced on headphones whilst walking between the different buildings on Orford Ness. The soundtrack features the voices of Neil Brennan, Ilya Kaminsky and Zakia Sewell.


Image: Black Beacon and the Power House pictured from the distance on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Emma McNally, The river that flows nowhere, like a sea

Read more

Emma McNally, The river that flows nowhere, like a sea

Working on-site on Orford Ness, Emma McNally presents a single large-scale graphite drawing on paper, approx. 9 m in length,  for the Armoury, a building once used to house elements for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. 

Inspired by the knowledge that the AWRE research programmes on Orford Ness led directly to a series of test explosions in the deserts of Western Australia, McNally’s drawing work on the level of the atomic and the atmospheric, microcosm and macrocosm. The drawing’s heavily worked surface will chart the turbulence that occurs as different elements, forces and systems encounter and interact with each other. Her chosen medium is graphite, a naturally occurring form of crystalline carbon, and the centrality of carbon emissions to climate change is one important aspect of the turbulence of our time to which McNally gives shifting form on paper.

The title of McNally’s work for Orford Ness is the last line of The River of Rivers in Connecticut by the American poet Wallace Stevens.  Elsewhere in the poem, Stevens writes of the river as ‘an unnamed flowing’, an open space of sensations and associations which McNally’s immense graphite drawing also evokes.


Image: A tree-like overgrowth blocking a path on the shingle on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Tatiana Trouvé, The Residents

Read more

Tatiana Trouvé, The Residents

Scattered across the interior of Lab 1, a derelict structure built in the 1960s for weapons testing, now open to the elements, overgrown with vegetation and partly underwater, renowned French/Italian artist Tatiana Trouvé will compose a new sculptural installation. Several of the sculptures, cast in aluminium and bronze l, resemble functional objects, including blankets, chairs, books and recording equipment. A large geological form resembling a ‘scholar’s rock’ reflects in a basin of water, suggesting a lost belief system. 

The surfaces of the blankets feature diagrams of geological and scientific systems, drawing connections to Orford Ness’s environment and history. Nettles and grass have grown through and around the blankets. Resembling an encampment or refuge, Trouvé’s installation oscillates between the real, the imaginary and the phantasmic, adding a further layer to the powerful sense of temporal dislocation present on Orford Ness.

Trouvé’s new project for Orford Ness is her first commission in the UK.  A major survey of her work will be presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2022.


Image: Exterior of Lab 1 on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Library of Sound

Read more

Library of Sound

The octagonal building known as Black Beacon, originally constructed in 1929 to develop radio navigation systems for aircraft, will become the Library of Sound containing field recordings made on Orford Ness during the past decade by Iain Chambers, Chris Watson and Brian d’Souza.

The viewing apertures on each of Black Beacon’s sides provide a cinematic lookout over the landscape that visitors can contemplate whilst listening to different sound sources captured within it: the rattle of the Control Room door, the sound of a distant explosion, plastic flapping in a strong wind, the drone of a single bee.


Image: Black Beacon at a distance on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Artists

Iain Chambers, Alice Channer, Brian d’Souza, Axel Kacoutié, Ilya Kaminsky, Paul Maheke, Emma McNally, Ollie Olanipekun, Rachel Pimm, Tatiana Trouvé, Chris Watson
Read more

Artists

12 artists, writers, poets, designers, composers, producers, and performers will create and present new work for Afterness, presented on Orford Ness or online. Read on to find out more about each contributor.

Iain Chambers

Iain Chambers is a London-based composer, producer and sound artist, whose work explores specific locations and their changing sounds across time, as in Concrete Paris (2021); The Secrets of Orford Ness (2020), The House of Sound (2017), and City of Women (2018). In 2019 Iain launched the independent record label Persistence of Sound, creating a new space for musique concrète, field recordings, and the uncategorizable sounds in between.

In 2015 Iain staged the first ever concerts in Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chambers, transforming the structure into a huge resonant chamber. In 2003 Iain co-founded Langham Research Centre, an electronic music ensemble using Cold War era technology to compose new music. The group also create new realisations of work by composers including John Cage, Alvin Lucier and Christian Wolff, using unusual analogue instrumentation.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/e9/95/e995c74f-4f5e-4f15-8406-f0bbdc764e16/2021a_artist_iainchambers.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-628,357_subsampling-2.jpg

Alice Channer

Alice Channer lives and works on the edges of London. Channer's forms and materials are found in the social and sensual worlds of industrial and organic processes. Over long periods of time, she immerses herself in industrial and natural materials and production processes to find forms within them that can be shown as sculpture.   For her new project for Orford Ness, Channer has found inspiration in its resilient vegetation and in vestiges of its former military life.

Channer has exhibited widely over the last 15 years, and is currently represented by Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin and Düsseldorf.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/28/67/286746ee-3d16-4358-8db2-36873727fd3a/2021a_artist_alicechanner.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-1442,699_subsampling-2.jpg

Brian d’Souza

Brian d’Souza aka Auntie Flo is an award-winning DJ, producer and live performer. Since bursting onto the music scene in 2010, he has cemented his position as a central figure in the new strand of club music fusing electronic and world influences. Through his revered Highlife party and label he continues to “take World Music into the future” (the Guardian). As a DJ, Auntie Flo has toured extensively around the globe, performing in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, US/Canada, Africa, Latin America and frequently in Europe and the UK, from major festivals like Glastonbury to live sessions online like Boileroom. 

Auntie Flo hosts the monthly radio show ‘Radio Highlife’ on Worldwide FM.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/69/1a/691a068e-2deb-4827-a673-7a0adc82f40a/2021a_artist_briandsouza.jpg__300x999999_q85_subsampling-2.jpg

Axel Kacoutié

Axel Kacoutié is a multi-award-winning audio artist, working with sound, music and words to challenge the familiar and revive the magic in the mundane. His work has featured on the BBC, Channel 4, NOWNESS and the Barbican.

He is also the Sound Designer and theme composer for the Guardian's daily news podcast, Today in Focus.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/b4/c3/b4c3afc3-9783-4d79-888f-c99b808b5524/2021a_artist_axelkacoutie.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-786,1551_subsampling-2.jpg

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press) and Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press) and co-editor and co-translated many other books, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books). Deaf Republic was The New York Times’ Notable Book for 2019, and was also named Best Book of 2019 by Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian and New Statesman.

Kaminsky’s poems have been translated into over twenty languages, and his books are published in many countries. In 2019, he was selected by BBC as “one of the 12 artists that changed the world.” He currently holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Institute of Technology and lives in Atlanta, USA. 

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/96/44/96442e40-821b-4dc9-b6cf-52651ae53bc1/2021a_artist_ilyakaminsky.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-855,509_subsampling-2.jpg

Paul Maheke

Paul Maheke was born in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France and lives and works in London, UK. Since studying at ENSA Paris-Cergy, Paris and Open School East, London, Maheke’s works and performances have been shown at Tate Modern, London (2017), the 57th Venice Biennale (Diaspora Pavilion, 2017), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018), Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2018), Baltic Triennial, Tallinn (2018), Manifesta, Palermo (2018). In 2018 the Chisenhale Gallery in London hosted a solo exhibition of his work, which later travelled to Vleeshal CCA, Middelburg in January 2019. In 2019 his performances were shown at the 58th Venice Biennale and at ICA Miami in addition to a solo exhibition at Triangle France, Marseille.

Through primarily dance and a collaborative practice comprising performance, installation, sound and video, Maheke considers the potential of the body as an archive in order to examine how memory and identity are formed and constituted.

Paul Maheke was also part of Artangel's programme Thinking Time, 2020. 

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/d5/e1/d5e1e72b-1075-41d3-a465-dcb41029788f/2021a_artist_paulmaheke.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-615,918_subsampling-2.jpg

Emma McNally

Emma McNally lives and works in London. Her graphite drawings are a rhythmic exploration of entanglement and turbulence across scales, times and spaces. Multitudes of different marks conjure up dynamic weather systems and matter moving through different states:  cycles of water, particles of carbon, radioactive fallout.  They suggest an attempt to chart shifting systems of immense complexity, drawing on soundings, data visualisations, electronic microscopes, particle collision chambers and satellite imaging. 

McNally has worked for many years in studios by the River Thames – her drawing echoing the pulsing activity of the city and reflecting the river's ebb and flow. The first six of an ongoing series of large-scale drawings, Choral Fields, were shown in Mirrorcity at the Hayward Gallery in 2016 and another large group on Cockatoo island in the Sydney Biennale in 2018.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/b9/98/b998aa4e-715d-48d5-b767-6ee971719416/2021a_artist_emmamcnally.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-1657,771_subsampling-2.jpg

Ollie Olanipekun

Ollie Olanipekun – Founder and Creative Director for over 10 years in the creative industries, Ollie grew tired of watering down his vision and established Superimpose – now Futurimpose – in 2014. Culturally rooted, he pushes for projects that put people first, that disrupt the status quo and cut through white noise. Representation and building community are not buzzwords, but practices Ollie has undertaken throughout his career. In 2020, Ollie saw a need to create a safe space for his community and combined this with his love of nature, establishing Flock Together: a support group that tackles the underrepresentation of people of colour in the outdoors industries and organisations. Since its inception, Flock Together has become a cultural movement, with chapters in seven cities around the world, numerous brand partnerships, and extensive press, and it has been featured on BBC One’s ‘The One Show’ and Vice news.

Rachel Pimm

Rachel Pimm was born in Harare, 1984 and lives Northamptonshire, UK. They work across sculpture, text, photography, video and performance to explore environments and their materialities, biochemistries, histories and politics, with an interest in queer, feminist and post-colonial materialisms, natural histories and resource extraction, in addition to the potential of surfaces and matter to transform. 

Pimm’s work has been featured in programmes at the Serpentine Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Jerwood Space, Chisenhale Gallery and The Royal Academy – all in London between 2014-20 – as well as internationally across Europe and the USA. Residencies include Loughborough University Chemical Engineering, Gurdon institute of Genetics at Cambridge University, Rabbit Island, Michigan, USA and was Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence 2019/20. They are currently lecturing at UAL and have a forthcoming commission with Arts Catalyst in 2021/22.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/59/0e/590e507f-1452-48fb-9821-72fb7970edc5/2021a_artist_rachelpimm.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-2085,514_subsampling-2.jpg

Tatiana Trouvé

Tatiana Trouvé was born in Calabria, Italy and grew up in Dakar, Senegal. Following her artistic studies at the Villa Arson in Nice and in the Netherlands, she moved to Paris in 1995 where she continues to live and work. Her aims are to create a place where the coordinates of space and time, the arrangement of the material, the physical and the psychic, organize convergences between the real, the imaginary and the phantasmic.

Known for her “Bureau d'Activités Implicites” (Bureau of Implicit Activities) and for several site-specific projects in Europe and the US, Trouvé’s sculptures and installations blur the boundaries between the domestic and the natural, the mineral and the living, the two dimensions of drawing and the three dimensions of volume. The rules and laws that determine our reality are recomposed in worlds where new coexistences are formulated. Trouvé was awarded the Marcel Duchamp Prize in France in 2007, followed by a solo presentation at the centre Georges Pompidou, and has exhibited her work in numerous museums around the world over the past two decades.

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/dd/9d/dd9ddd92-dc8c-4b5f-b3d7-29e78fc9304c/2021a_artist_tatianatrouve.jpg__300x999999_q85_subject_location-466,434_subsampling-2.jpg

Chris Watson

Chris Watson was a founding member of the Sheffield based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals and habitats around the world. As a composer and sound recordist Watson specialises in creating spatial sound installations which feature a strong sense and spirit of place.

His television work includes many programmes in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ series including ‘The Life of Birds’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996, and as the location sound recordist for the BBC series ‘Frozen Planet’ which also won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012).

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/24/95/24951148-c8e8-4b9a-b4e9-0ef9b48f1aab/2021a_artist_chriswatson.jpg__300x999999_q85_subsampling-2.jpg

Image (left): The north sea in the distance on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Images of the artist (above), from top to bottom, Alice Channer by Thierry Bal, Axel Kacoutié by Francis Augusto, Paul Maheke by Tina Rowe, Emma McNally by Victoria McNally, Tatiana Trouvé by Claire Dorn, Chris Watson by Bill Oddie. 

Afterness Online

Read more

Afterness Online

Alongside the works sited on Orford Ness, a series of newly commissioned works inspired by the Ness will be available to be experienced online throughout the summer and autumn of 2021.

Brian d’Souza, beacon.black

beacon.black is an acoustic experience designed to transport its audience through the desolate but striking landscape of Orford Ness and its history of listening to and transmitting sound.

Conceived by DJ and music producer Brian d’Souza, with visuals designed by Ollie Olanipekun, Creative Director of Futurimpose and founder of Flock Together, this 24-hour radio station revives Orford Ness’s history of spying and signal jamming as well as capturing its current transmissions from migratory birds and the ever-present wind. An online companion to the Library of Sound installed in the Black Beacon, this site is home to an audio stream of augmented field recordings made on Orford Ness by d’Souza, Iain Chambers, and Chris Watson alongside a second stream exploring the island of secret’s history of surveillance and broadcast.

Lonnie Holley 

Viewing the Ness as both a found sculptural environment and as a ready-made film set, Lonnie Holley plans to create and record a cycle of site-specific songs for a range of different locations – including Cobra Mist, Bomb Ballistics, the former Lighthouse, the Barracks and the Battery Charging Shops. These songs will be released one at a time, across the summer of 2021.

Paul Maheke, Jim and John 

Paul Maheke’s starting point is hauntology, folklore, and the body of myths and legends of Orford Ness. In particular, Maheke was drawn to the story of the alleged UFO sightings in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980, associated with the over-the-horizon radar station Cobra Mist and the lighthouse both on the Ness. 

Maheke will be making a new film, experimenting with choreography to create a visual dialogue between alien intrusion from the sky and the military past of the site. The journey of the spacecraft will be narrativised, moving from one location to another, from the forest it will arrive at Orford Ness and transition into movement and choreography on the ground. Both sites will visually be connected through movement performed by two male bodies, referencing John Burroughs and Jim Penniston, two of the servicemen who reported the sighting of a mysterious craft. This work is a collaboration between the artist Paul Maheke and the dancer and choreographer Robert Bridger, who developed together a new score, queering the narrative of the Rendlesham incident, using the landscape of the Ness, and its perplexing past, as the backdrop for this dance film.

Rachel Pimm, Shingle Key 

Rachel Pimm began research by treating the site as a contaminated zone, intrigued by the affected nuclear biodiversity and the potential of quantum physics to understand matter present and hidden in the geology of the Ness. By approaching the research from the perspective of the shingle landscape, a selection of rocks will be categorised and examined closely to begin composing an index. Pimm will translate image and biodata into sound, creating a composition and a character for each selected rock. Why are those rocks there? What are they made of? What sounds do they emit? Each pebble is an instrument but also part of a larger survey. 

 Rachel Pimm will also collaborate with Graham Cunnington, founder member of the industrial music collective Test Dept who will create an alternative soundtrack with the shingle landscape recordings. Interested in the industrial past of the site, Cunnington will create an antimatter soundscape to accompany the final body of research.


Image: Window view of the demolished Lighthouse site from the Power House, next to black beacon, on Orford Ness, April 2021. Photograph: Johny Pitts. 

Credits

Read more

Who made this possible?

Credits

Afterness is commissioned and produced by Artangel.

Presented in partnership with the National Trust.  

Supported by Artangel’s Guardian Angels.

Tatiana Trouvé’s work is commissioned with the support of Jill and Peter Kraus and Fluxus Art Projects.

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, and The Company of Angels.


 

filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/da/a4/daa4de15-22e6-42ce-881b-12a7a4ea3550/logo-ace.png__99999x100_q85_subject_location-500,201_subsampling-2.png
filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/db/23/db23acb8-957e-44f8-a328-41859682bf65/national-trust_bw_logo.png__99999x150_q85_subsampling-2.png
filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/6b/45/6b45474a-464f-455e-964a-c535ea73d211/fluxus_logo.png__99999x100_q85_subsampling-2.png