Heroes and Villains

‘Heros and Villains’ Sarah Sparkes 2019

Installation created for New Doggerland exhibition at Thames-side Studios Gallery, curated by Jane Millar

Heroes and Villains, Sarah Sparkes 2020

Sarah Sparkes work ‘Heroes and Villains’ is drawn form both archeological and science fiction mythologies. She has imagined her work for New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris – a Post-Anthropocene dream of hunter-gatherers.

“We’re not searching for anything except people. We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.”
― Stanisław Lem

Heroes and Villains is made from both made and found objects. The paper snakeskin patterned chrysanthmums were designed and hand made by the artist. The silverbirch logs were selected as this tree type proliferated in Doggerland. The ‘hut’ is a contemporary hunters hide and a reference to mesolithic hunter gatherers shelters.

A recording of the tide coming in emanated from iniside the hide. The recording was made in a coastal region where Doggerland once lay. Thank you to Ian Thompson for recording and sound installation.

Heroes and Villains, Sarah Sparkes, 2020, detail.

New Doggerland is a new multi-disciplinary artists project for a future imagining of physical and cultural re-connection between Britain and the European mainland. Doggerland is the name given to the ancient landmass, now submerged, that once connected Britain to Northern Europe. What if a new land mass rises up and we become physically part of the mainland again?

New Doggerland is a project about future land and humans. It asks questions to which the exhibitors and participants respond with different ideas and answers. Who will be living there and how? It may evoke a Ballardian dystopia, or ideas of possible Utopia. Or could New Doggerland be the heterotopia where we go to experience ‘other’ selves, a place of becoming?