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Farewell to the Familiar Earth

Installation, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2024

Exhibition Text:


Farewell to the familiar earth focuses on the nettle, a plant connected to wilderness and a symbol of what is outside human habitation. It takes its title from a Gaelic poem by Calum Macleod, written when he was forced to emigrate from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. Zurowski is Interested in Gaelic culture and how it creates a space for exchange between human and non-human beings, experimenting with the traces of distant traditions.  


The reel-to-reel player transmits old songs about nettles from the School of Scottish Studies re-recorded and remixed by the artist to the point of degrading. The prints are taken from nettles as they are catalogued in botanical collections and the film includes images of foraged nettles processed using chemicals from the plant. With diagrams from ancient books of herbal remedies integrating with modern technology, this work is about ecology and what is important about traditional ways of being in the world.

Text by James Clegg, Talbot Rice Gallery

All photos courtesy of Sally Jubb, Talbot Rice Gallery 

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