In summer 2022 Tate Liverpool will present Radical Landscapes, a major exhibition showing a century of landscape art revealing a never-before told social and cultural history of Britain through the themes of trespass, land use and the climate emergency.
The exhibition will include over 150 works and a special highlight will be Ruth Ewan’s Back to the Fields 2015-22, an immersive installation that will bring the gallery to life though a living installation of plants, farming tools and the fruits of the land. This will be accompanied by a new commission by Davinia-Ann Robinson, whose practice explores the relationship between Black, Brown and Indigenous soil conservation practices and what she terms as ‘Colonial Nature environments’.
Expanding on the traditional, picturesque portrayal of the landscape, Radical Landscapes will present art that reflects the diversity of Britain’s landscape and communities. From rural to radical, the exhibition reconsiders landscape art as a progressive genre, with artists drawing new meanings from the land to present it as a heartland for ideas of freedom, mysticism, experimentation and rebellion.
Radical Landscapes poses questions about who has the freedom to access, inhabit and enjoy this ‘green and pleasant land’. It will draw on themes of trespass and contested boundaries that are spurred by our cultural and emotional responses to accessing and protecting our rural landscape.
Key works looking at Britain’s landscape histories include Cerne Abbas 2019 by Jeremy Deller, Tacita Dean’s Majesty 2006 and Oceans Apart 1989 by Ingrid Pollard. Ideas about collective activism can be seen in banners, posters and photographs, such as the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp banners by Thalia Campbell and video installations by Tina Keane.