Florence Arts Centre is closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. A conversation between Petra Tjitske Kalshoven and Wallace, with video by Simon Walker of the sculptures will be posted soon on the Florence Arts Centre website. Details to follow.

There will be five human generations between 2020 and 2140, the year by which the Sellafield site is to be decommissioned, its purposes changed and its legacies cast. Each generation will make decisions on this future while enduring unpredictable ecological changes and uncertain political, economic and technological conditions.

Wallace’s three sculptures play with the iconic architecture and industrial shapes of Sellafield to create metaphoric ‘fonts’. The sculptures offer ways of thinking about a decision outside the everyday and its usual procedures. Fonts are devices for acknowledging the past, for marking the present and sending hopes for a future. The sculptures ask about what kinds of knowledge will be useful; what different forms of clean-up and remediation will be needed; and what it feels like to care for the soils, waters, stones and living beings on these generations of humans depend.

The exhibition is part of the ‘Sellafield Site Futures’ project by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Manchester, looking at the contentious history and future of the site. The researchers hosted three workshops in the summer of 2019 in Whitehaven, bringing together participants from West Cumbria, some affiliated with the nuclear industry and supply chain, others working in the arts and heritage sectors, scientists and ethicists, and others engaged in conservation and ecological initiatives. The sculptures are a response to the questions and conflicts that were raised.

The exhibition is supported by the University of Manchester’s Beam research network and the Dalton Nuclear Institute and is funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

Ongoing

Wallace wrote and produced the sea cannot be depleted, a spoken word and sound piece for online and radio broadcast about the sea, about how a sense of place evolves with the changing forces of the sea and about the military dumping of depleted uranium into the Solway Firth.

Listen online at theseacannotbedepleted.net

Other current work includes

Becoming Earthly experimental learning space at The Barn, Banchory, Scotland

Wallace will be one of four artists and philosophers leading online ‘learning sessions’ delving into how to ‘become earthly’, in Bruno Latour’s words, how to live in the thin skin of the earth that is the atmosphere and topsoil on which life depends.

The sessions are for artists, chosen from an open call, who want to further develop their work in art and ecology. The deadline for the participant’s call is 10 July.

Wallace has been asked to address the questions: ‘How do we care? An exploration of shame and play’ in her session in early September.

The other session leaders are: John Newling, artist; Johan Siebers, philosopher; Paolo Maccagno anthropologist and Feldenkrais practitioner.

Becoming Earthly is curated by The Barn’s Head of Programme Simone Stewart, and members of the Becoming Earthly Steering Group.

Rebecca Beinart is currently artist-in-residence undertaking a socially engaged art project on the future of Crow Park in Keswick, Cumbria, in association with the National Trust. Wallace is co-facilitating an online writing workshop in the summer of 2020. Movement artist Simone Kenyon is co-facilitating a workshop on movement.

Contributor to ‘The Future Machine’: Wallace is one of the artists working with Rachel Jacobs on ‘The Future Machine’. We were to be developing a performative piece at Tilberthwaite Quarry near Coniston, Cumbria for the summer of 2020. With the pandemic, we have changed the project to exploring ideas of the future and extraction in relation to the rivers near which we each are living – in London and the River Leven in Cumbria. We hope to return to Tilberthwaite.  See Rachels’ blog for The Future Machine / A Retreat in Place.

With Mark Toogood (Senior Lecturer in Geography, University of Central Lancashire) and Claire Waterton (Professor of Sociology, Lancaster University), Wallace researches the work of women scientists at the Freshwater Biological Association, Far Sawrey, Windermere. Their latest article, ‘Women Scientists and the Freshwater Biological Association 1929-1950’, is published in the Archives of Natural History. 47:1, April 2020, p. 16-28.

Council on the Uncertain Human Future : With Prof Pauline Phemister and Revd Dr Harriet Harris, MBE, from Edinburgh University and Prof Sarah Buie from Clark University, Mass., she has organised and facilitated a series of Councils on the Uncertain Human Future, on the climate emergencies, for Edinburgh University. She is now undertaking a feasibility study for taking the Council process into other sectors, funded by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, USA.

Wallace’s essay, ‘Theatre, conflict and nature‘ for the Green Letters journal Vol 20:2016, is included in the Routledge book publication, Performance and Ecology. What Can Theatre Do? (2018). The journal is behind a paywall and the hardback book is exorbitantly priced. A paperback version is due to be published in December 2020. If you would like to read the essay, please get in touch.