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2 Aug 2024 - 21 Dec 2024

Into the Wyld

Admission Free
Start Time 10:00
End Time 17:00

Material Matters presents Into the Wyld: a festival of contemporary art at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum exploring the continuing legacy of the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and its unique connection to the Wirral.

Preview night: Thursday 1 August, 6-8pm.

From 1 August to 21 December 2024 the Material Matters Collective will be in residency at the Williamson in Birkenhead. Into the Wyld also features work from over 20 invited artists across the region, plus an associated five month programme of performance art, poetry readings, children’s workshops, film screenings and a symposium.

Material Matters’ artists will respond to key themes in the Gawain poem across three exhibitions: ‘Nature’ curated by Patric Rogers from 1st Aug – 13th Sep, ‘Chivalry’ curated by John Elcock from 19th Sep – 25th Oct and ‘Spirituality’ curated by Angelo Madonna from 7th Nov – 21st Dec. ‘Weavers’ a parallel programme of performance, talks, workshops and readings will be curated by Silvia Battista.

Gawain is a masterpiece text of the Middle Ages. The poem tells the story of King Arthur’s headstrong young nephew who after a dramatic bargain with a mysterious figure faces a long journey in which he must, quite literally, keep his head. Sir Gawain’s quest ‘into the wilderness of the Wirral’ is a fourteenth century narrative that will be given a radical 21st century interpretation by the artists.

Featured artists for Into the Wyld include: Angelo Madonna – Silvia Battista – John Elcock and Patric Rogers in collaboration with Amodali – Nick Ball – Abbie Bradshaw – Alice Colquhoun – Kris Darby – Will Dickie – Ryan Gauge – Anna Jane Houghton – Adrian Jeans – Oak Luca – Brendan Lyons – Izzie Major – Piotr Marchewka – Paul Mellor – Margaret O’Brien – Attila Olah – Nicky Perrin – Eleanor Rees – Sarah Jane Richards – Andrew Shaw – Craig Sinclair – Camille Smithwick – Pierce Starre – Angela Stringer – Serah Stringer – Catherine Swire and Niamh Tam.

Professor Sarah Peverley (Liverpool University) will open the programme on the 3 August with a talk on the poem’s history and textual brilliance and the real and imaginary landscapes that Sir Gawain passes through. Each exhibition will offer a family workshop led respectively by artists Madeleine Smart and Alexandra Hales. Associate Professor Catherine Morris (Liverpool Hope University) will moderate artists’ conversations with the public at the end of each exhibition.

The symposium Spirits of Place at the Williamson on 12 October will be led by writer John Reppion and features presentations around the themes of the tale by leading scholars and writers from across the UK including Associate Professor Silvia Battista, Dee Dee Chainey, Maria J. Pérez Cuervo, Professor Stephen E. Harding, Professor Carolyne Larrington, Mark Penman and Adam Scovell.

Material Matters is an artists’ collective and co-operative engaged in artistic and curatorial practices that explore the inter-relationship between materiality, aesthetics and performativity under a collaborative praxis the artists call ’emotional minimalism’.

Some events are ticketed, please check websites and social media for details.

Into the Wyld is supported by Wirral Borough of Culture 2024 and Liverpool Hope University.

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