6 May - 12 May 2024


MARRIAGE (IN)EQUALITY IN UKRAINE. Screening and a panel discussion

9 May 2024


Casey Orr artist talk and SEPN North West meet-up

18 May 2024


Poetry reading: Coast to Coast to Coast

11 May 2024


National Pavilion of Ukraine @ Venice Biennale

20 April - 24 November 2024


Open Source 28: Sam Patton – Room to Breathe @ Digital Window Gallery

10 April - 18 May 2024


Forward, Together @ Wigan & Leigh Archives, Leigh Town Hall

23 March - 28 September 2024


As She Likes It: Christine Beckett @ The Rainbow Tea Rooms, Chester

1 March - 30 June 2024


Shifting Horizons @ Digital Window Gallery

27 March - 31 March 2024


26 March 2024

Past Events

Saturday Town: Launch Event

10 April 2024


Saturday Town

11 April - 18 May 2024

Past Events


21 March 2024

Home. Ukrainian Photography, UK Words: Tour

4 March - 28 February 2025


Home: Ukrainian Photography, UK Words @ New Adelphi

4 March - 8 March 2024

Past Events


2 March 2024


We Feed The UK @ Exterior Walls

8 February - 31 March 2024

Past Events

Contrail Cirrus: the impact of aviation on climate change

7 March 2024


Tree Story @ Liverpool ONE

16 February - 1 May 2024

Open Source #27: Saffron Lily – In The Absence of Formal Ground @ Digital Window Gallery

6 February - 31 March 2024

Past Events

Contemporary Photography from Ukraine: Symposium @University of Salford

4 March - 5 March 2024

Past Events

Is Anybody Listening? Symposium: Commissioning and Collecting Socially Engaged Photography

29 February 2024

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Different approaches: Artists working with scientists

15 February 2024

Past Events

LOOK Climate Lab 2024: All Events

18 January 2024


Diesel & Dust @ Digital Window Gallery

18 January - 31 March 2024


Tree Walks Of Sefton Park with Andrea Ku

21 January 2024

Past Events

Artists Remake the World by Vid Simoniti: Book Launch

31 January 2024

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Shift Liverpool Open Meeting

6 February 2024

Past Events

We Feed The UK Launch and LOOK Climate Lab 2024 Celebration

8 February 2024

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Cyanotype workshop with Melanie King

17 February 2024

Past Events

End of Empire: artist talk and discussion

22 February 2024

Past Events

Book Launch: What The Mine Gives, The Mine Takes

24 February 2024

Past Events

Local ecology in the post-industrial era: open discussion

14 March 2024

Past Events

Waterlands: creative writing workshop

23 March 2024

Past Events

Plant a seed. Seed sow and in conversation with Plot2Plate

16 March 2024

Past Events

Erosion: panel discussion

9 March 2024

Past Events

Waterlands: an evening of poetry and photographs

23 March 2024

Past Events

Force For Nature Exhibition

27 March - 28 March 2024

Voices of Nature: Interactive Performances

28 March 2024

Past Events

Sum of All Parts: Symposium

27 February 2024

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

LOOK Climate Lab 2024

18 January - 31 March 2024

Past Events

MA Socially engaged photography Open Day event

1 February 2023

Past Events

Tish: Special screening and Q&A

13 December 2023

Past Events

Book Launch: A Look At A New Perspective

23 November 2023

Past Events

Community workshops @ Ellesmere Port Library

6 November - 5 February 2024

Past Events

Book Launch: ‘544m’ By Kevin Crooks

30 November 2023

Past Exhibitions

Bernice Mulenga @ Open Eye Gallery Atrium Space

17 November - 17 December 2023

Past Events

Bernice Mulenga: Artist Talk

18 November 2023

Past Exhibitions

Local Roots @ The Atkinson

14 October 2023


Community @ Ellesmere Port Library

26 October - 11 April 2024

Executive Decision by Mishka Henner installed at LOOK Climate Lab 2024, Liverpool. Photography by Rob Battersby.
Strange Eden by Mario Popham installed at LOOK Climate Lab 2024, Liverpool. Photography by Rob Battersby.
Detail View: Strange Eden by Mario Popham. Photography by Rob Battersby.
LOOK Climate Lab 2024 installed at Open Eye Gallery. Photography by Rob Battersby.
Kherson by Nazar Furyk installed at LOOK Climate Lab 2024, Liverpool. Photography by Rob Battersby.
Erosion by Stephanie Wynne installed at LOOK Climate Lab 2024, Liverpool.

Sam Parker Reflects on LOOK Climate Lab 2024

Originally published on artcollection.salford.ac.uk

It’s the last week to catch Open Eye Gallery’s LOOK Climate Lab 2024, featuring new work in progress from Mishka Henner, artist-in-residence with Energy House 2.0.

Team Assistant, Sam Parker, attended the LOOK launch event back in January, and here he shares his thoughts on a few of his favourite works from the exhibition in Liverpool.

1. Executive Decision by Mishka Henner

Sam Parker: To start with, I can’t not mention Mishka Henner’s new work Executive Decision. One of our current artists-in-residence at Energy House 2.0, Henner has begun to develop work with the AI Midjourney, creating his own worlds and imagery using prompts that continuously manipulate the work.

The layers of the work really draw me in. The work itself depicts a man in a business suit, not panicked by the prospect of fire, but to me, he seems content or even relaxed. Combined with the title of the work, Executive Decision, it makes me think of the government and organisational decisions that continue to do our planet harm; an ‘executive decision’ to damage the already depleting health of the environment around us.

I’m also really interested in Henner’s use of artificial intelligence, particularly at this time when conversations about AI are so contentious. The painterly aesthetic of the piece seems to point towards the way AI may make traditional labour techniques redundant. From a distance, and with no knowledge of Henner’s work, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a painting – drawing inspiration and source material from historical artwork when discussing the work with Henner ahead of the exhibition, he rightly said it could be “indistinguishable from paintings.”

Along with this, Henner has deliberately used a service that prints on demand for this work – highlighting another problem that we as a society are facing; the mass production of goods with no care for the environmental impact of said production. The work speaks to the nature of modern culture; we can make and sell anything, without care for the process and impact of its production.

To me, these things combine to make a truly thought-provoking work, which describes contemporary problems, the diminishing viability of hand-crafted products, and the almost glorification of destruction that we as a species cause.

2. Strange Eden by Mario Popham

I really enjoyed the variety of Mario Popham’s work on display here; the striking photographs, and also the experimental methods employed in a couple of the more abstract pieces. Particularly the layered pieces that literally stick out from the surface, giving an impasto aesthetic as the deep black colour prickles out from the imagery. This experimental approach interests me as someone who both photographs and paints. The material composition of the piece is also apt, using coal and other materials from the Brickershaw Country Park; which used to be a coal mine. This adds depth and connection to the source of Popham’s work.

There is something otherworldly about Popham’s work – in terms of shape and form, some of the works are almost reminiscent of the aliens and their language from the film Arrival – ink-like forms suspended in the air, travelling within something akin to a circulatory system.

3. Co-Creation with the Environment by Lizzie King

Alongside Popham’s work, current MA Contemporary Art student and previous Graduate Scholar with the Collection Lizzie King also presented some beautiful experimental pieces that use nature itself to create the works on photographic paper. These works also provide this cosmic feeling and aesthetic; looking to contain special formations of stars, gases, and other astral bodies.

Scuffs and scratches, dirt and debris – King uses the unpredictability of nature to further enhance the works itself, using sustainable processes the work combines analogue processes and nature into one complete package.

From what I understand the prints are not fixed, and so are still altered by light – In Open Eye Gallery they are covered with a cloth that has to be lifted to view the work. I find the prospects of this quite interesting, as over time, the prints will change with each viewing until eventually, the print has become overexposed; along with the materials that have been kept on the surface, this could produce wildly varying results allowing all to ponder which element created certain colours and forms– it’s exciting!

4. Kherson by Nazar Furyk

I also wanted to discuss Nazar Furyk‘s series of photographs taken within the Kherson region in Ukraine. Given the contemporary nature and global political situation surrounding the war in Ukraine, Furyk explores the ramifications of the conflict; not just the military action, but the people who continue to live through this, how it affects them, and how the war ultimately affects them as individuals.

Furyk shows us rubble, rubbish, murky waters, claustrophobic offices, books in the open, an abandoned football, destroyed infrastructure, and the resulting contaminated area from the destruction of fuel and chemicals – which then made its way into the Black Sea. Furyk visited this region several times, including immediately after the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam. A sustainable energy source destroyed – this begs the question: how will they recover? With so much lost, and the war not even over yet, how will they rebuild? Will the damage done to the environment ever be rectifiable?

It was interesting to compare this work to Stephanie Wynne’s Erosion work, where she explores the structural waste as a result of war and how post-WWII era Liverpool had to deal with the waste from bombed homes. In this case, tonnes of rubble from the bombed homes were dumped on a mile-long stretch of coastline – will something similar be the fate of Ukraine’s post-war waste?

There is one image that Furyk has captured that stood out from the rest for me; taken after the dam’s destruction, arid cracked ground, debris, and a sense of barrenness – green leaves rise from between the cracks, flowers bloom and shed their petals amidst the chaos. Life finds a way, and life goes on.

Text: Sam Parker

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