Wallace’s work began with sculpture, including exhibitions with the Women’s Arts Alliance, London and with work included as part of Joseph Beuys’ ‘100 Days. Honeypump in the Workplace’ Documenta 6, Kassel West Germany, 1977.

Her recent exhibition x = 2140 continued her work on the civil-military nuclear industries, also developed in the audio piece the sea cannot be depleted’. She has written on social sculpture and social-ecologically engaged art, and initiated ‘Voices on the Railings’, below.

In the coming 120 years, how can humans decide to dismantle, remember and repair the lands called Sellafield?

 

Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, Cumbria, February – March 2020

www.facebook.com/nuclearsitefutures

 

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, Font No. 1 [right], Knowledge Font [below left] and Future Font [below right], 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 whom 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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A virtual tour of the exhibition, with conversation between Wallace and Petra Tjitske Kalshoven from the Beam network and a video of the sculptures by Simon Walker, is now on the Florence Arts Centre website.

Wallace and Petra Tjitske presented an online talk at the Vienna Anthropology Days Conference, University of Vienna, October 2020.

Wallace presented the exhibition as part of her session on ‘Play, Shame and Care’ for the ‘Becoming Earthly’ project by The Barn arts centre, Banchory, Scotland, September 2020.

Voices on the Railings, Sedbergh 2003

On the eve of the second invasion of Iraq, 2003, Wallace Heim, Simon Pardoe and Linda Inman initiated a viral social practice action. We asked people to write, draw or in another way express their views about the proposed invasion on a card, and tie it to nearby street railings.

The action started in Ulverston, Coniston and Sedbergh in Cumbria, and spread as an instruction given online to Cambridge, London, Bristol, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester.

‘Action’ refers to performance events, especially those involving a strong degree of uncertainty and improvisation. It forms around an idea, is manifested and then the idea set loose to be interpreted and manifested in other locations, by other people, known and unknown to the originators. It fits here as a version of social sculpture / social engagement.