Fiona Crisp: Weighting Time

6 May – 3 September 2023
FREE / No booking required
NGCA Main Gallery

Weighting Time is a survey exhibition across two venues Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens (1 April – 3 June) and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (6 May – 3 September) exploring 30 years of work by British artist Fiona Crisp.

From the subterranean world of dark-matter laboratories to the midnight sun of the Norwegian mountains in summer, Crisp’s work explores how we might connect to spaces and ideas beyond our own lived experience. Her practice interrogates the ontology of the photographic image – a branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being. Across the exhibitions elements of her large-scale photography and film installations will be reconfigured and recontextualised to reveal new insights into our changing relationships to space, place and time.

Crisp’s works are often generated over sustained periods of time in specific heritage or science locations including the Early Christian catacombs of Rome, a Second World War underground military hospital in the Channel Islands and the United Kingdom’s only underground Dark Matter Laboratory inside Boulby Mine on the Northeast coast. Weighting Time draws together photographic and film work from these series, among others, for the first time alongside new work and a large-scale public commission for Sunderland’s Mowbray Park.

Weighting Time at Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art brings together several bodies of work created by Crisp within enclosed, hermetic or subterranean spaces. This collection of still and moving image work made in mines, theatres, laboratories and catacombs, come together to form a trope of ‘otherworlds’ or ‘underworlds’ that re-order our coordinates of space, place and time. Both worlds come together in the film installation Boulby where we experience the intense visual and aural phenomenon of a truck travelling through tunnels underneath the bed of the North Sea. Edited together with an animated simulation taken from the Hubble telescope, the film allows us to reverse time-travel as we fly back through the formation of galaxies towards the moment of the Big Bang.

Fiona Crisp’s work is held in national collections including Tate Gallery, The Government Art Collection, The Arts Council Collection, The British Council and The National Trust. Previous solo exhibitions have included Material Sight, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland and Arts Catalyst, London, 2018; Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle, Matt’s Gallery, London, 2012; Subterrania (touring exhibition) BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall, 2009/10; Santa Maria, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, 2003; and Still Films, Cameraworks, London, 1999. Crisp’s work is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.


3D Virtual Walkthrough

View our virtual walkthrough of Fiona Crisp: Weighting Time. This virtual experience enables you to explore the physical exhibition as if you were there, at any time, remotely on a digital device.


Exhibition Activities

To go alongside the exhibition we have created an exhibition guide and a ‘Belvedere’ frame for you to design and capture your own images (see exhibition guide for instructions). You can pick up printed versions on your visit or download yourself at home:

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