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AP2: Grand Union x UoB MA Art History & Curating Students The Age of Dreamers is Over

The Age of Dreamers is Over
In collaboration with Grand Union, the MA Art History and Curating course at University of Birmingham presents The Age of Dreamers is Over:a group show navigating the historical scales of anthropogenic* rupture, as well as the potential for collective healing.
This immersive exhibition brings together interactive sculpture, sound, and light works from artists Louise Beer, Jack Lewdjaw, and Mina Heydari-Waite. Unified by the idea of the night and darkness as a site of creative energy and potential growth, the three artists included in this exhibition have examined forms of rupture from the climate crisis; to revolution and colonialism; to the decay of the English high street. Reflecting upon the notion of ruination and rebuilding, The Age of Dreamers is Over serves to explore the impact of human hands on one another and on the very world we live in – if we have the capacity to destroy then we can also attempt to mend and create.
*Anthropogenic: originating in human activity. (Grand Union)

  • very playful curation - works exist as a unit but also as individual sculptural objects

  • The choice of dramatic lighting also makes the works appear quite theatrical - this is furthered by how the sculptures are made out of wooden sheets and all hollow - appearing like stage props.

  • The pieces also serve multiple purposes - some act as seating to invite viewers to engage with the space, whilst others act as plinths or podiums to display other sculptural objects.

  • The 'totems' as visual references with the columns links the work to the past - influence of ancient Greek and Roman history and architecture. Makes the work appear out of time, both ancient as well as looking futuristic - links with retro futurism

  • All of the clean and pastel colours creates a very calming experience - linking to utopian architectural designs

  • The soundscape was also fascinating and added a more dramatic layer to the piece. As a conversation it explored dreams, reflecting on personal dreams being recounted by friends but also going into the scientific research around dreams. This provided a lot of context for the piece but delivered in a much more interesting and dynamic way.

It would be useful moving forwards in my own work to consider how an audience would engage and possibly interact with my work and if I could incorporate elements of sound to create a certain atmosphere.


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