Wall to Wall: The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University

Guy Moreton (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

Abstract

This exhibition (21 February – 20 March 2014) was curated by Film and Video Umbrella, and presented in The Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle. It followed the major Tate Britain exhibition (January – May 2013) devoted to the study of the artist Kurt Schwitters who's Merz wall is situated in The Hatton Gallery. Moreton's contribution included two new photographic studies of the Cumbrian landscape where Schwitters lived and worked 1945–1948.

The large scale photographic diptych of the overgrown apple tree orchard above his 'Merz' barn reference the trauma of both Schwitters' childhood in Hanover and the sudden separation from his Hjertøya Merz in the Norwegian Molde Archipelago; and his attempt to recreate an orchard and hillside 'garden' in close proximity to his Elterwater Merz whilst in exile in the English Lake District. The image of the winter apple tree and fallen apples is also an oblique reference to the poet Michael Hamburger's (1924 – 2007) orchard in his garden in Suffolk which Hamburger discusses, and observes, in the film portrait by Tacita Dean made for the 2007 exhibition Waterlog (see 'Waterlog' 2007 submission). For both Schwitters and Hamburger, the 'laboured' gesture of the planting of apple trees is intertwined with the image of exile through shared linguistic and cultural roots.

Subsequently, these two photographic artworks were acquired by The Contemporary Art Society for the permanent art Collection of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle alongside contemporary works by Clare Woods and Keith Tyson relating to the natural world and building on the museum's extensive collection of historic landscape paintings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2014

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