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A close-up of the Rose Bowl, City Campus


Material Environments

The exhibition departs from an experience of art based on the environments in which we usually find it – paintings in a gallery and performance in a theatre – towards an understanding of art as something which actively defines our environment.

“Material Environments is not your usual gallery exhibition" - Sara Jaspan

During Material Environments, The Tetley will become a site not just for the display of artwork but of live production, experiment, making and participation. Five artists have been invited to work across the gallery’s spaces, to experiment with ideas of physical and psychological transformation. The resulting works, which engage with subjects ranging from social media, botany and chemical science to architecture and music, will grow and evolve over the course of the exhibition, operating as installations, workshops or laboratories. Taking as its starting point an interest in the process of artistic research and production, Material Environments makes this process visible for the audience to see, experience and be involved in. 

Join us

On 3 May, join us to celebrate the launch of Material Environments with speeches, complimentary drinks and the first official viewing of the exhibition. 6–8pm, FREE, all welcome. Find out more here.


Phoebe Cummings makes baroque ceramic sculptures, combining impossible assemblages of plants, fauna and with lush, imagined landscapes. A huge new immersive environment in the Leeds Beckett Atrium will house her delicate sculptures made from unfired clay.

Keith Harrison employs complex scientific and engineering processes, testing the material properties of clay, sound and electricity. Recent projects have seen him firing clay with electrical currents and flying a car through a forest. At The Tetley, Harrison will develop a new work spanning two interior spaces, which responds to the industrial heritage of the building, once the headquarters of Tetley’s brewery.

Serena Korda continues her research into the relationship between acoustics, emotional states, the paranormal and the extraterrestrial through a new series of soundworks recorded in Todmorden, a town with a rich history of unexplained events. She will also create a ‘glass harp’, an instrument once associated with causing madness and hysteria for its players and listeners, which will form the centerpiece of a new performance work.

Harold Offeh will create a live archive entitled The Real Thing: Towards an Authentic Live Archive. Concerned with ideas of reality, realness and authenticity, concepts which have taken on new meanings in our increasingly mediated lives, Offeh’s evolving installation will bring together artefacts, images, actions, performances and workshops.

Joanna Piotrowska’s photographic series Shelter sees her visiting people’s homes and inviting them to create constructions, dens and habitations from the furniture within their living spaces. The resulting constructions reflect their creator’s inner life, history and state of mind, transforming space and material into something deeply personal.

If you’d like to find out more about the exhibition you can watch our video here, where Bryony Bond (Artistic Director, The Tetley) and Ben Roberts (Director, The Artists Research Centre) discuss the artists’ work at the Tetley.

Lend a Glass to Artist Serena Korda for a ‘Glass Harp’ Artwork at The Tetley

Artist Serena Korda would like to invite members of the public to lend a stemmed glass (such as a wine glass) to be included in her installation at The Tetley for the Material Environments exhibition, 4 May – 8 July.

These borrowed glasses will be used to create a ‘glass harp’ that will form the centre of her new installation “Clairaudience’, the title of which describes the psychic ability to hear things in the spirit world, also known as psychic hearing. The ethereal sound of playing the rim of glasses is connected with elevating moods but also with causing hysteria in its player and its listeners. This ‘glass harp’ will be played during a weekend of performances, workshops and on particular days during the exhibition.

The glasses will be lent to the artist at the owner’s own risk, and each will be returned to its owner at the end of the exhibition therefore dismantling the ‘glass harp’ and making it unique to the exhibition at The Tetley and the people involved in contributing to the harp.

If you would like to lend a glass to Serena Korda, you can drop it off at reception at The Tetley, anytime between 3rd – 27th April.

Event Details

3 May 2018 -
8 July 2018
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Tetley Gallery, Leeds
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