Fiona Crisp: Weighting Time

Saturday 1 April to Saturday 3 June 2023
Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Special Exhibitions Gallery
Free/No booking required

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 Sunderland Museum will explore Crisp’s long-term engagement with the construction and framing of a ‘view’ in visual as well as in political and philosophical terms. Across her large-scale photographic works, we see Crisp’s preoccupation with thresholds – liminal spaces or states where there is tension between public and private, interior and exterior or light and dark. In her Still Films series from the 1990s, life-sized figures are suspended in action, caught on the thresholds of buildings; within other projects Crisp uses cars, caravans or architectural models as framing devices to mediate our world view – or view of the world – all the time drawing our attention to the camera’s own ‘act of looking’.

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.

Fiona Crisp: Weighting Time is a survey exhibition across two venues – Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

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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