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Ghost Calls

This remarkable, unique exhibition is open at Dundee Contemporary Arts from 28 April 2021 to 8 August [1].

Main works include Ghost Calls (2020), a large painting in acrylic on silk (parts shown in the photos below), the mesmerising Keening Songs (2020) – an animation of over 14 mins (hard to describe) and A Crash in Fast and Slow Motion (2020), again acrylic on silk.

In Ghost Calls female forms occupy and move through a landscape. Intense colour contrasts with the greys of the figures and with shapes containing words describing how things are and where we might go.

Perhaps in relation to A Crash … , the author writes [2] “Against the backdrop of the ecological disasters of our age, I feel increasingly like we were passengers in a vehicle being driven recklessly round a blind corner, headed for some massive smash up.’

Those of us who see ecological destruction and human misery can’t help but connect with what we see here. Yet the artist offers a way forward. First, it helps to grieve, to keen.

Then to imagine. From the book of the exhibition [2]: “Talbot imagines future environments where humankind has been flung out of a capitalist-driven society of digital technologies and must look towards more ancient and holistic ways of crafting, making and belonging”

And then to act – at the end of Ghost Calls are the words: ‘This is not the end | let’s use the time we have together | embracing | a forward movement without fear’.

Britain’s environment has been irreversibly changed. The rainforest has almost gone, soils are being lost, rivers are still polluted, so much life has been made extinct. Yet there is still the need to re-group and re-form, to make the best of the land, soil and living things, those remaining and those introduced. Where’s the alternative.

You must see this exhibition.

From a Living Field correspondent visiting the exhibition on 19 May 2021.

Further

[1] Exhibition Notes: Ghost Calls by Emma Talbot. Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate Dundee DD1 4DY

[2] Ghost Calls. Emma Talbot. 2021. Artist and various authors. Book published as part of the exhibition. Dundee Contemporary Arts. 

[3] DCA What’s On web page for Ghost Calls.