Multidisciplinary artist Ashish Ghadiali will create a film installation titled Cinematics of Gaia and Magic for the exhibition Dartmoor: A Radical Landscape, which opens autumn 2024.
Ashish Ghadiali is a multidisciplinary artist with a practice that spans filmmaking, writing, curation and activism. His film credits include the the 5-screen film installation, Planetary Imagination (2023) for Plymouth’s The Box and the feature documentary The Confession (2016) for the BBC and the BFI. He was the curator of the group exhibition, Against Apartheid (2023) at KARST. He’s the founder/director of the climate justice agency, Radical Ecology, and is currently working on a book, Dart River, for Hutchinson Heinemann – a psychogeography of empire set across the landscapes of the Dart Valley in South Devon.
Cinematics of Gaia and Magic is a two-screen film installation that reflects on the experiments of Gaia theorist James Lovelock that took place on the edge of Dartmoor during the 1980s and 1990s. Drawing on conversations that Ghadiali had with Lovelock around a year before he died at the age of 103, it asks how we might perceive the sense of the earth as a single and unified system from here on the earth and from the vantage point of the human eye.
“A central question that drives my practice is why so often the idea of the local leads us down cul-de-sacs of epistemology and shared experience when what is needed, in our age of impending environmental collapse is a way of relating to place that connects us to one another and to the planet. Although not known for his advocacy of climate justice principles in particular, at a certain point in my own journey, the thought of Gaia theory’s founding father, James Lovelock, became an essential point of reference for me. It brings us into the new world of a deeper planetary awareness and this work, responding to a conversation I had with him around a year before he died, is about exploring how we might start to develop that awareness on foot and through the human eye.”Ashish Ghadiali
The commission will accompany another commission from artist Alex Hartley, announced last year, known for his sculptural photographic compositions.
Dartmoor: A Radical Landscape will bring together work by contemporary artists working with photography and moving image that engage with current issues affecting the communities and landscapes of Dartmoor.
Using seminal conceptual artworks made on Dartmoor in the late 1960s by land artists Nancy Holt and Richard Long and the documentary records of rural Dartmoor life by James Ravilious and Chris Chapman from the early 1970s as starting points, the exhibition will explore ways in which photographic artists, in particular, have been drawn to Dartmoor, where they have explored radical or alternative approaches to living and making art.