The New Immortals brings together ten artists whose works relate to the themes of the project. The exhibition explores the age-old quest for immortality, and the changes being brought about by contemporary science and technology which prompt to us to re-consider what we think of as life and death; mortality and immortality.
JUDITH ALDER is a visual artist whose practice forms a process of enquiry driven by a desire to understand the world better. At the heart of the work is an exploration of the contradictions and conflicts of modern life. Judith takes part in and organises a range of independent projects as artist, curator, project manager and artist in residence. She has worked with arts organisations, commercial and public galleries, universities, schools, on an allotment, and with a military museum. The New Immortals was a research project which Judith developed over three years from 2013, culminating in the exhibition at Phoenix Brighton which she curated and in which she exhibited new work made during the project. Alongside her artistic practice, Judith runs Blue Monkey Network, an artists’ network based at the Towner Art Gallery, organising professional development and networking events for artists.
FLEUR ALSTON‘s photography is central to her practice which revolves around environmental documentation. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is part of an artist collective called Interlope and an artist co-operative called Making Art Work. She is based in Kent, UK. Her work, 17 Species of Lichen, was selected for the exhibition in response to John Wyndham’s 1960 novel, Trouble With Lichen which explores the impact of a life extending elixir on individuals and society.
MURRAY BALLARD is an award winning photographer born and based in Brighton, UK. His work has been selected for numerous prestigious exhibitions including Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed 08 at The Photographers’ Gallery, London and a debut solo show, The Prospect of Immortality, at Impressions Gallery, Bradford. His work, The Prospect of Immortality is an extensive photographic investigation of the practice of cryonics. Worldwide there are approximately 200 patients stored permanently in liquid nitrogen, with a further two thousand people signed up for cryonics after death. Murray’s work records some of the technical processes involved, alongside portraits of the people engaged in the quest to overcome the ‘problem of death’. The Prospect of Immortality has toured nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, the Centro Cultural de Espana in Mexico City and Format International Photography Festival in Derby, UK.
RACHEL COHEN is a visual artist. She makes site-specific and temporary interventions as well as permanent, portable objects – paintings, drawings and sculptures, often working in series or making collections of things and then arranging them as installations. Her work for The New Immortals reflects Rachel’s interest in highlighting otherwise overlooked absences, traces, transient things made permanent, worthless things elevated in status.
CAT INGRAMS commissioned installation for The New Immortals highlights the avalanche of information available to the public through media and internet, and the confusion caused by difficulties in differentiating between fact and fiction, science and pseudo-science. Cat has a first class degree in Fine Art Sculpture and is a co-founder of Blue Monkey Studio, Eastbourne.
ANNA MACDONALD is a dance and moving-image artist who uses the medium of the body as a way of exploring philosophical concepts. Her art looks for ways to express how people make a transient world feel reliable enough to live in. Anna’s work has been exhibited widely in the UK and received international recognition including being nominated for the International Video Dance awards in Barcelona and having a recent solo moving image exhibition at the AC institute, New York. She has also been commissioned for numerous public art works and her work was recently selected as a flagship example of socially engaged practice for an AHRC funded project curated by Creative Works, London. She is a part-time Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University and has published several articles about her work.
GUYAN PORTER‘s art explores the sociological and psychological foundations of belief. Mixing traditional artforms with processes of political engagement, his work connects with methodologies of conceptual and installation art while referencing pioneering social scientists such as Daniel Dennett and Stanley Milgram. His installations create immersive environments, exploring ways that concepts and belief systems can be instilled in us, affecting our most basic understandings of reality. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland Guyan set up his first studio in Glasgow in 1994, organising, exhibiting in and curating artist led projects and events. Now based in Sussex, UK, recent solo and collaborative projects have taken place in Turkey, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sri Lanka, Italy, Russia, France and Belgium.
DUNCAN POULTON is an artist who works with video appropriation and digital media. In his moving image work, he recomposes found content to address art-historical and mythological concerns, investigating ideas of reality, functionality and perfection in the digital age. Since graduating from Fine Art Critical Practice (BA) at the University of Brighton in 2015 his work has been shown at Sluice_ Art Fair, London; Latitude Festival, Suffolk; Sticks Gallery, Fareham; 44AD Gallery, Bath and Plymouth Arts Centre. He was born in Birmingham, UK, where he currently lives and works.
GABRIELLA SANCISI is known for her typological photographic portrait series which have led to the development of a new multimedia project combining still photography with video, text and sound to create a multi-layered work about awareness, the primal space, and the mind-body split. Gabriella has regularly exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions and her work is held in private and national collections. She is based in London, UK.
ANGELA SMITH is a painter and printmaker based in Sussex. Since graduating from the University of Brighton her work has been shown across the UK, including the Discerning Eye exhibition where she was awarded the prestigious Parker Harris Prize. The imaginary world of the future in which living forever is a possibility, is at the heart of a new set of etchings created for The New Immortals in which the subjects of her etchings face dilemmas and decisions that are suggested but not explained, exploring the desire for eternal life but wrestling with the compromises of living forever.