Soft Estate features new works by artist Edward Chell that explore the interface between history, ecology, roads and travel. In paintings, prints, and objects, made using a variety of materials including road dust and etched car parts, he investigates motorway landscapes, linking these contemporary environments with 18th century ideas of the Picturesque.
The exhibition’s title derives from the Highways Agency description of our motorways’ and trunk roads’ natural habitats. These ‘soft estate’ verges offer refuge for wildlife, a modern wilderness in the midst of intense urbanisation and agro-chemical farming. In addition to Chell, the exhibition also features work by other artists interrogating similar ‘edgelands’ including John Darwell, Laura Oldfield Ford and George Shaw.
There will be an accompanying book launch for Soft Estate at the Contemporary Art Society, 59 Central Street, London EC1V 3AF on Thursday 27 March, 19.00 – 21.00. This launch will include a discussion by Bluecoat director Bryan Biggs and curator Sara-Jayne Parsons, artist Edward Chell and writer Ken Worpole, who recently published The New English Landscape with photographer Jason Orton. To RSVP for this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7017 8400.