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Rachel Clancy

7th July-5 August

P.V: 6th July 6-9pm

‘Ludere’ presents a series of paintings exploring artifice, trickery, and play. The works simultaneously explore the illusive qualities of the painted surface, against the performative acts of trickery, creating a tension between the act of making and the subject matter. The dexterity and intricate nature of the works aim to encourage a slower reading and unravelling, and the works start to read as clues. Shifting between cropped viewpoints and zoomed out narratives, the paintings explore the trickery of oil paint and glazing to infer depth and luminosity, built on historical techniques of layering. This slow, meticulous act of painting juxtaposes the fast, deceitful nature of a magic trick or sleight of hand. Analogous, mundane motifs arise throughout the works, inspired by everyday settings and objects. The paintings also explore lighting, inspired from theatre productions and plays, to emphasise details within the compositions. Through encountering the paintings in proximity to one another, connections begin to form through their shared oddity and varying viewpoints.

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The Earth is Warm
Anna Clough

The land waxed fat and greedy too,

 It would not share the fruits it grew,

 And coal and ore,

 as sloe and plum,

Lay black and red for jamming time.


The pylons rusted on the fells,
The gutters leaked beside the walls,
And women searched the ebb-tide tracks
For knobs of coal or broken sticks.


'Cleator Moor'  ‘Norman Nicholson (1944)

In the heart of the lake district, on the side of the Langdale pikes, down a rocky scree lies a neolithic axe factory unworked by humans for 1,000’s of years. Algae lines its walls and lichen grows across its floor. Just under 30 miles away, near Whitehaven, a coal mine proposal has just been approved. 

‘The earth is warm’ explores the Cumbrian Landscape and its relationship with the climate crisis, entangling a post-industry ‘culture’ with its ecology. The time-based and sculptural works are centred around the changing slate, coal and copper mining communities of Lakeland.


Everything and everyone are interconnected through fine lines and in the world lively objects are in a constant state of push and pull. The act of mining takes away from the mountain but gives to miners’ livelihoods. Industry destructs ecological webs which were forged in deep time; it is these movements happening on a grand scale that have kindled our climate crisis. The deconstruction of the mining industry has meant less material extraction and burning of coal, which has allowed ecosystems space to flourish.

Cumbria is a place often romanticised for its sublime value. It is a living landscape where rural communities are continually undertaking and adapting to industry shifts.

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