Theme header Artists In Conversation 4 - Back Lane West

Artists In Conversation 4

Sarah Ciurysek & Lisa Hirmer

Convened by Rachel Hindley partnered with Back Lane West

Saturday 5th September 2015

The Elms (CN4C), 61 Green Lane, Redruth TR15 1LS
5-8.30pm – including refreshments/food.

Please book on Eventbrite to help us regarding numbers etc.
Cost is £5.00 to help cover artists’ talks and food – payment on the door.

This is the fourth in our first series of Artists in Conversation. This initial series is developed from CCANW’s (Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World) Soil Culture Project, and aims to both add to the legacy and widen the debate around this project. AIC has invited artists involved in CCANW’s Soil Culture Project’s short residencies based around the SW.

We are very pleased to welcome Sarah Ciurysek and Lisa Hirmer to our 4th Artists in Conversation to talk about their work, their soil culture residencies and wider related, social and cultural issues.

Further info on the Soil Culture Project residencies:

Artists in Conversation is supported by Cornwall College.


Sarah Ciurysek

Sarah Ciurysek is a Canadian artist using photography, video, audio, and installation to examine our relationship with the ground. She will speak about her practice and in particular about her project Grounded, Leaping, which was made during a 10-day Soil Culture residency at Daylesford Organic Farm in April 2015.

Grounded, Leaping: an audio walk about soil, and about what we can and can’t see — underground, above ground, and within. It is a site-specific project, made and shown at Daylesford Farm in Gloucestershire. The project engages visitors’ senses and imaginations by combining a memorable physical experience (the rich sensory experience of being outside on the land), with an imaginative mental experience (as the listener must piece together what they are seeing with the stories that they are listening to).

It’s also a portrait of the people of Daylesford and the local community, as Daylesford staff and people living nearby describe their many relationships with soil. There’s a wonderful gathering of very talented, passionate people at the farm, and in Grounded, Leaping they have shared some of their incredible knowledge and memories to accompany listeners in their walk with soil.

Lisa Hirmer

Lisa Hirmer is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Guelph, Canada. She creates the majority of her work under the pseudonym DodoLab, an experimental artistic practice that is focused on developing productive approaches to working with the public and the nebulous reality of public opinion. Often modeled as a type of performative research, DodoLab’s work explores and responds to the public’s relationship with contemporary issues—meaning that it is never solely an idea in and of itself that is explored through her work, but rather an idea in relation to the public’s understandings and beliefs about that idea.

Hirmer was selected for the residency at Peninsula Arts, where she worked with the public in the gallery and with soil scientists at the University of Plymouth. The project looked at the ecological role of peatlands, particularly in their capacity as carbon sinks that capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide. During the residency, Hirmer simultaneously learned about the process of carbon sequestration in sphagnum bogs (particularly those in nearby Dartmoor) and probed gallery visitors’ beliefs about how we measure the value of things like carbon sinks which have significant long-term global benefits and yet are difficult to register or visualize in our everyday lives. As conversations unfolded during the project, with both the researchers and the public, the gallery space was used like a bulletin board to hold in space the wealth of ideas that emerged. Taken together, these postings (which were re-created for the touring exhibition) begin to capture our complicated relationship with this unique substance as it comes up against the reality of our everyday lives, our limits as individuals struggling against and within larger systems and our deeply rooted but slowly-shifting ideas about nature and our role within it.