HAPPENSTANCE | Russell Mills
An exhibition of new works by Russell Mills
With a new immersive soundwork by Mills and Mike Fearon
Created as part of Brantwood’s series of events celebrating the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth, Mills; works are informed and inspired by ideas of contingency, chaos and order, control and surrender.
Contextually anchored and process-driven, Mills’ work uses metaphorically charged materials and alchemic-like processes of slow and unknowable transformation. Shaped by evaporation, sedimentation, crystallisation and chemical reactions, they celebrate the weave of order and chaos, as diverse matter is either broken down into entropic confusion or necessarily arranges itself into a cohesive order.
Following Ruskin’s advocacy of close observation, ‘imagination by combination’ and ‘accidental association’, Mills creates works that, being analogous to the ceaseless flux of nature’s generative processes, mirror and explore many of Ruskin’s most significant ideas about the natural world: as matter, as force, as school, as metaphor for transformation, and as being profoundly political and economic.
Using Brantwood itself as its source, Mills and Fearon’s new sound installation transforms Ruskin’s world into the sonic. In the spirit of Rimbaud’s synaesthesia, layered recordings made in the house, its surrounding landscape and from above and within Coniston Water, augmented by melodic patterns derived from the prelude to Elgar’s ‘The Dream of Gerontiius’ and Ruskin’s own ‘airs’, the work telescopes time to create a uniquely evocative portrait of place.
2nd September - 6th November 2019
Open 10.30am - 5pm daily
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