Powerful new exhibition highlights how memory lingers in our landscapes

University of Sheffield researchers collaborate with Museums Sheffield to launch exhibition exploring the presence of past conflict and trauma in contemporary landscapes

'Invisible Wounds' exhibition, image 1

A new art exhibition exploring the lingering presence of traumatic events within our fields, streets and cities is being launched by researchers from the University of Sheffield in collaboration with Museums Sheffield.

Opening at Graves Gallery on Thursday 5 March 2020, Invisible Wounds: Landscape in Memory and Photography is set to show how artists represent the echoes of devastating acts that continue to haunt the landscapes in which they took place.

Curated by Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson from the University’s School of Languages and Cultures, in partnership with Museums Sheffield, the exhibition brings together over 45 photographs which blur the boundaries between documentary and the work of imagination to explore how the past lingers in the present.

The exhibition will feature work from internationally renowned artists Denis Darzacq, Chloe Dewe Mathews, David Farrell, Roberto Frankenberg, Elisa Larvego, James Morris, Simon Norfolk and Zineb Sedira.

The images on display will show sites that bear little or no visible trace of their traumatic history, but where those events remain scarred in individual or collective memory.

'Invisible Wounds' exhibition, image 2

Photographs featured in the exhibition will include Denis Darzacq’s depictions of former First World War battlefields, where trees seem to have become portraits of the soldiers that fell there. Also amongst the works on display will be Elisa Larvego’s images of the ever-changing temporary constructions of the Calais Jungle, whose inhabitants struggled to find some sense of normality in a site perpetually shifting and under threat of being demolished.

Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson said: “When traumatic events like conflict or destruction occur, the memories of them can remain long after the visible traces of the events have gone. These memories have a lasting impact on how a place develops and can influence the way people see places for many years to come.

“This experience is something that is explored in the artwork on display in the exhibition. It highlights the role that trauma has in place-making. The exhibition will enable people to view different places around the world through the eyes of others and see memories that otherwise might be invisible.”

Louisa Briggs, Exhibitions and Display Curator at Museums Sheffield said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Dr Crawley Jackson and the University of Sheffield to show these remarkable, thought-provoking works at Graves Gallery.

“Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the history that’s woven into the fabric of the streets that we walk down and the environments we experience. In places where traumatic events have taken place the signs of that trauma fade with time, but still remain in our collective memories. The artists featured in in this exhibition each evoke those memories in powerful and tangible ways.”

'Invisible Wounds' exhibition, image 3

Invisible Wounds: Landscape in Memory and Photography runs from Thursday 5 March – Saturday 20 June 2020 at the Graves Gallery, Sheffield. Entry to the exhibition is free.

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