Return Journey is an exhibition that functions as a unique journey around the United Kingdom. It presents artworks, by artists from the UK, which all address, and refer to, the various places in which the artist was born or raised.
While looking at the land through artists’ eyes, the exhibition reflects upon ideas of childhood, biography, place, time and artistic development as well as upon the production and the language of art itself.
Richard Bevan (Maesteg) | Alice Channer (Oxford) | James Clarkson (Burton) | Lucas Clayton (Llandudno/Colwyn Bay) | Melanie Counsell (Pentyrch) | Sean Edwards (Cardiff) | Tracey Emin (Margate) | Simon Fujiwara (St Ives) | Ryan Gander (Chester) | Andrew Grassie (Edinburgh) | Dean Hughes (Salford) | Alan Kane & Simon Periton (Faversham) | Mark Leckey (Ellesmere Port) | Jonathan Monk (Leicester) | Scott Myles (Dundee) | Laura Reeves (Exeter) | Paul Seawright (Belfast) | Sue Tompkins (Leighton Buzzard) | Tris Vonna-Michell (Southend-on-sea) | Jessica Warboys (Newport) | Emrys Williams (Liverpool)
Return Journey has, in part, been developed to mark out a new way of presenting a specific country or region. While numerous exhibitions have looked at the United Kingdom’s past and present make up – mostly attempting to typify, define and establish genres of art or moments of art history – very few, if any, have examined the United Kingdom in itself. This exhibition takes a literal look at the land in connection with the visual arts and shows a wider view of the UK, beyond the established art centres. In doing so, it raises questions such as: What is it to live and work in the United Kingdom? What characterises the place and people? and, In what ways can they inspire creativity?
Bringing together existing works and new commissions, the exhibition includes painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and performance-based work. Some of the artists directly address their place of upbringing in exhaustive detail, while others offer only fragments of a past, a place or a time. Together, the presentation takes the viewer on a journey ‘back home’. It gives them the opportunity to reflect upon their own position, to consider their own history and offers a unique way of connecting with the UK and with exhibitions in themselves.
A second part of the exhibition will take place at MOSTYN in 2017, further exploring other areas of the UK and continuing its tour and coverage.