Natural Selection by Andy Holden & Peter Holden

6 April–5 May 2019

Hospitalfield presents an exhibition by Andy Holden and Peter Holden

Location: The Arbroath Courthouse Building, 88 High Street, DD11 1HL
Dates: 6 April – 5 May 2019
Exhibition open:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11am-6pm. Sunday 11am-4pm
Free entry

Natural Selection, an exhibition commissioned by Artangel now touring the UK, comes to Arbroath this spring. Installed in the Arbroath Courthouse Building in the High Street, the show is accompanied by a series of events, workshops and tours.

The exhibition brings a story of birdlife to Arbroath and is the first in a programme led by Hospitalfield for the Angus Place Partnership.

Natural Selection brings together Andy Holden and Peter Holden’s personal collections of found objects with sculpted birdsong, a human-scale bird’s bower, exquisite replica eggs crafted in ceramics and two new video works. The exhibition has been conceived to celebrate an astonishing diversity of natural forms and embrace different ways of looking at the world around us. The art work delves into the history of egg-collecting, from scientific pursuit to competitive and eccentric pastime which became illegal after the 1954 Protection of Birds Act.

Observing a blackbird building a nest in the garden of his parents’ house several years ago, artist Andy Holden began an extended conversation with his father, the eminent ornithologist Peter Holden, about the nest as an overlooked aspect of bird life.

Andy Holden is a contemporary artist and musician, he works with animation, sound, film and sculpture, found objects, printmaking and live performance. Andy is interested in how objects are experienced in the world, leading him to playfully probe meanings like artefact and artifice, authentic and fake, as well as perceptions of scale. Natural Selection marks the culmination of a five-year collaboration between artist Andy Holden and his father.

This highly acclaimed art work with its themes rooted in peoples’ lives and passion for birds and bird watching, sometimes destructive in its addictiveness, is exhibited in Arbroath town centre in the previously empty old law courts.

Arbroath Courthouse has been unused for the past four years. During this time the Courthouse Community Trust has formed to secure an Asset Transfer for the community use of the building. Natural Selection is the first public and cultural use of the building which we hope will support the successful Asset Transfer.

Natural Selection at the Arbroath Courthouse is presented by Hospitalfield and Artangel. Use of the Courthouse has been facilitated by the Scottish Courts with support of The Courthourse Community Trust.

Image credits: Andy Holden & Peter Holden, Natural Selection 2017, an Artangel commission.

Image [1] is by Jazbo Gross; images [2], [4], [5] are by Marcus J. Leith; image [3] is by Liam White. The final image is of the Courthouse in Arbroath.

Talks, workshops and walks

Talks, workshops and walks

Friday 5 April: Public Opening
6-8pm, Courthouse

Join us for the opening of Andy Holden and Peter Holden’s Natural Selection. This is the inaugural public event to launch the Arbroath Courthouse as a place for cultural production and community actions.

Free Entry. Everyone is welcome.

Saturday 6 April: A lecture on birdsong by Andy and Peter Holden
2pm, Webster Memorial Theatre

Artist Andy Holden and his father, ornithologist Peter Holden, present a performative lecture exploring both the art and the science of birdsong. With the help of a live score and archival footage, the Holdens narrate the history of the long held human fascination with the calls of birds.

Free Entry, please book a free place via Webster Memorial Theatre

Sunday 7 April: ‘An Insight Into Wildlife Television Filmmaking’, a talk by Peter Barden
3pm, Webster Memorial Theatre

Peter founded White Tail Films in Scotland in 2012. He works hands on across various disciplines, giving him an in-depth insight into most elements of television production. Over eight years he’s directed and produced the landmark wildlife series Scotland’s Wild West. He has recently filmed the birds of Angus and Aberdeenshire for a short series on BBC Landward.

£3, please book via Webster Memorial Theatre

Thursday 11 April: Exhibition tour 
2pm, Courthouse

Join a member of the Hospitalfield team for a tour of the Natural Selection exhibition and a conversation about the themes and ideas.

Free entry.

Saturday 13 April: Creative Writing Workshop with Lesley Harrison
Workshop from 1:30-3:30pm
Reading and Q&A 4- 5pm
Courthouse

Join Lesley Harrison for an afternoon of immersive creative writing where you can develop writing skills or find fresh approaches. You will produce creative responses to the themes in the exhibition.

Lesley is a local writer and poet who has worked and travelled in some of the world’s more remote places, and through her poems has explored how it is to live in these places. She is currently doing a practice-led research PhD on Poetries of the North Sea Coast. Publications include Ecstatics: a Language of Birds (Brae Edition)

Refreshments provided

£5 booking fee for workshop. Please book

Free entry for Reading and Q&A.

Sunday 14 April: Ceramic Workshop with Fran Marquis
11am, 1pm, 2:30pm, Courthouse

Creating ceramic tiles inspired by natural bird habitats using various techniques and materials.

Free Entry, Booking essential.

All ages. Children should be accompanied by adults.

Thursday 18 April: Exhibition tour
2pm, Courthouse

Join a member of the Hospitalfield team for a tour of the Natural Selection exhibition and a conversation about the themes and ideas.
Free entry.

Thursday 25 April: Exhibition tour
2pm, Courthouse

Join a member of the Hospitalfield team for a tour of the Natural Selection exhibition and a conversation about the themes and ideas.

Free entry.

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 April: Ornithology walk and talk
11am start, Courthouse

Join Ken Slater, Regional Development Officer at British Trust of Ornithology, on a local birding walk and talk. Learn about Arbroath’s local and migratory birds as well as the skills and tools needed to spot these birds. Binoculars provided but you are welcome to bring your own. The walking route will take you from the Natural Selection exhibition to the harbour, along the seafront to Hospitalfield grounds for the Hospitalfield Open Weekend.

Free entry.

Thursday 2 May: Exhibition tour
2pm, Courthouse

Join a member of the Hospitalfield team for a tour of the Natural Selection exhibition and a conversation about the themes and ideas.

Free entry.

The Courthouse has level access to the entrance and a lift to all floors. There are toilets at the venue.

Image: Andy Holden & Peter Holden, Natural Selection 2017, an Artangel commission. Photo by Liam White.

 

Credits

Natural Selection was commissioned by Artangel, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery and Towner Art Gallery, with the support of the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Bristol Green Capital 2015, the Henry Moore Foundation and Artangel’s Guardian Angels.

The tour in Scotland is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Natural Selection is part of the Artangel Collection, and initiative to bring outstanding film and video works commissioned and produced by Artangel to galleries and museums across the UK. The Artangel Collection has been developed in partnership with Tate and is generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Foyle Foundation. Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the private patronage of the Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and Company of Angels.

Hospitalfield would like to thank Courthouse Community Trust, The Scottish Courts & Tribunal Services and all our volunteers including those from Dundee & Angus College and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

 

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