Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary

October 1, 2022 Comments Off on Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary

Sat 24 Sep – Sun 22 Jan


Nottingham Contemporary presents Hollow Earth: Art, Caves and The Subterranean Imaginary, a major thematic exhibition which brings together a wide range of responses to the image and idea of the cave. It includes painting, photography, sculpture, sound, installation and video, as well as archives and architectural models, stretching from 1960 to today, alongside works from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Rock Cycle

Beneath Nottingham are over 800 caves, hand-carved into the sandstone bedrock. For centuries, they have played host to dwellings, mines, cellars and tanneries. Inspired by this subterranean city, Hollow Earth brings together 150 works by more than 50 artists to explore questions of thresholds, darkness and prehistory.

Every culture and religion has told stories about what lies beneath. Caves are where extraordinary events come to pass, the domain of gods and monsters, of births, burial and rebirth. Dark, dangerous and unstable, caves are places of visions and experiences both sacred and profane. More recently, they have become home to data farms, seed vaults and doomsday bunkers.

For thousands of years, these portals to the deep past have captivated artists. Some even argue that the cave was the earliest studio and the first museum. Following 19th-century discoveries of rock paintings, caves have been imagined as spaces of revelation, providing clues to the origin of our collective impulse to produce images. After World War II, artists came to associate the cave with the primordial creative space, a bunker-like refuge from the atomic era. Today, in an age of ecological breakdown, caves are portals to both the deep past and troubled futures, places where species and time intermingle.

Mapping specific sites and imaginary underworlds, Hollow Earth considers what draws us to the subterranean. The exhibition is divided into five sections, and echoes the journey into a cave, starting at the threshold and ending in the depths. Organised in collaboration with Hayward Gallery Touring, the exhibition features major works by René Magritte, Santu Mofokeng, Kaari Upson, Jeff Wall and Aubrey Williams, as well as new commissions from Sofia Borges, Emma McCormick-Goodhart, Goshka Macuga, Lydia Ourahmane and Liv Preston. In 2023, the exhibition will tour to The Glucksman in Cork and to RAMM in Exeter.

  • Hamed Abdalla, Lee Bontecou, Sofia Borges, Brassaï, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Steven Claydon, Matt Copson, Juan Downey, Chioma Ebinama, Mary Beth Edelson, Laura Emsley, Barry Flanagan, Ilana Halperin, Frank Heath, Ed Herring, Michael Ho, Hans Hollein, Peter Hujar, Athanasius Kircher, Alison Knowles, Antti Lovag, Goshka Macuga, René Magritte, Gordon Matta-Clark, Emma McCormick-Goodhart, Santu Mofokeng, Henry Moore, Nadar, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Pauline Oliveros, Lydia Ourahmane, Gordon Parks, Flora Parrott, Walter Pichler, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Liv Preston, Ben Rivers, Robert Smithson, Michelle Stuart, N.H. Stubbing, Caragh Thuring, Kaari Upson, Jeff Wall, Aubrey Williams, Joseph Wright of Derby.
  • It also includes materials from Drawing Matter, The Frobenius Institute, Nottingham City Council and Picture Nottingham, Nottingham City Museums & Galleries, Trent & Peak Archaeology, Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.

The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) opens

October 1, 2022 Comments Off on The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) opens

Ilana Halperin: The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi)
with works by Yoshihisa Nakano and Keijiro Suzuki

September 3 – November 12, 2022

Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney.


The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) is a cross-disciplinary exhibition connecting Yamaguchi, in Japan, and Orkney.

The exhibition features new works by Glasgow based artist Ilana Halperin, developed both in Japan and Scotland, alongside works by Yamaguchi based artists Yoshihisa Nakano and Keijiro Suzuki.

The project builds on the work Halperin embarked upon in 2018 during a residency in Akiyoshidai, an area of geological significance in Yamaguchi, Japan, as well as during field research and public programming in 2019 hosted by Yamaguchi University.

The exhibition takes its title from the “rock cycle,” a geological concept describing how rocks change from one type to another over deep geologic time.

There will be an afternoon of events focusing on the exhibition as part of the Orkney International Science Festival on Saturday 3 September.

Funded by:

Akiyoshidai Academic Centre, Yamaguchi University; Creative Scotland; The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation; The Pier Arts Centre.

Curated by Naoko Mabon


June 9, 2022 Comments Off on MA FAMILLE POUDINGUE

Ilana Halperin’s solo exhibition ‘MA FAMILLE POUDINGUE / My Conglomerate Family’ is open through 26 June at Cairn Centre d’Art , Digne-les-bains (@cairncentredart).

‘Halperin’s singular work, inspired by geology, sparked interest from Cairn, which offered her a residence between 2021 and 2022, in order to study at close range the natural and geological phenomena of the UNESCO Global Geological Reserve of Haute Provence, located in Digne-les-bains. Working across weaving, watercolour, engraving, installation, writing and ready-made; art, science, philosophy and intimate narratives find a shared language.’

‘Mountains and rocks, which remind us they are the product of the living, become reanimated again, an infinite source of narratives, deeply embedded in our connected identities.’

Image: Ilana Halperin. Field Diary (Digne) 27, watercolour on Fabriano paper, 2022.

Further information here : https://www.cairncentredart.org/en/home/

The Power of Wonder at Museum unter Tage

June 9, 2022 Comments Off on The Power of Wonder at Museum unter Tage

The Power of Wonder. New Materialisms in Contemporary Art at Museum unter Tage, Bochum Weitmar @situationkunstbochum continues until 9 Oct 2022.

Self Portrait as a Lava Bomb. Installation view at The Hunterian, 2019. Photo by : Ruth Clark

The exhibition features the work of Ilana Halperin alongside Agata Ingarden, David Jablonowski, Markus Karstieß, Robert Smithson, SUPERFLEX.

Ilana Halperin’s art reflects a special affinity between humans and their environment. With the work Self Portrait as a Lava Bomb, she declares the Icelandic volcano Eldfell, which first erupted only a few weeks before the artist was born, to be her twin. On milestone birthdays, Halperin travels to Iceland and celebrates together with Eldfell. The coloring of her large woven wall works, in turn, reference the textiles created by her mother, Gayle Portnow Halperin, a New York-based designer, in the 1970s. The layered structure of the fabric is reminiscent of geological processes such as the deposition of sediments. With the The Rock Cycle, Halperin appears as co-author in collaboration with the forces of the excessively calcareous water of the French stalactite cave Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire. Over months, the water has coated the ancient terracotta bricks she collected with a solid crust of sinter, giving the objects their actual character.

Further information here: https://situation-kunst.de/ausstellungen-2022/the-power-of-wonder-2022


June 9, 2022 Comments Off on FELT EVENTS OUT NOW

FELTS EVENTS is here!!! Available now at : /http://strangeattractor.co.uk/shoppe/ilana-halperin-felt-events/

Deepest thanks to the wonderful contributors, to the most brilliant dream of an editor @catrionamcara – and to @strangeattractorpress for working on this beautiful volume together… here is a little description :

Artist Ilana Halperin shares her birthday with an Icelandic volcano. Working through the aesthetics of geology since the late 1990s, her multifaceted, conceptual practice unearths the intimate poetics of rocks, minerals, and body stones.

Halperin’s fieldwork has led her from erupting volcanoes in Hawaii to petrifying caves in France and geothermal springs in Japan. Felt Events surveys the last two decades of Halperin’s output (1999–2020), representing a mid-career moment of reflection.

This collection includes critical and experimental writing from international curators Lisa Le Feuvre and Naoko Mabon, art historians Andrew Patrizio and Dominic Paterson, anthropologist Jerry Zee, and writer Nicola White. It also offers examples of Halperin’s performance lectures, some of which appear in print for the first time.

Felt Events introduces Halperin’s work to new generations of artists, writers, and environmental activists—those who will shape the critical landscapes of the twenty-first century.

A new project with Cairn Centre d’Art in Digne-les-Bains

January 5, 2022 Comments Off on A new project with Cairn Centre d’Art in Digne-les-Bains

It is my pleasure to announce a new project with the Cairn Centre d’Art in the UNESCO Geoparc of Haute Provence. Artist-in-Residence Autumn 2021. A solo exhibition in Spring 2022. Dates to be announced…further information can be found here :


Armchair adventures to Mount Stuart…

January 5, 2022 Comments Off on Armchair adventures to Mount Stuart…

Material from the solo exhibition There is a Volcano Behind my House at Mount Stuart and the audio work Excerpts from the Library can now be found here :


The Rock Cycle, 2021, Bricks and drainage tiles encrusted in new limestone deposits over 3 months in the Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Our Hands Enact the Geologic Process, part two, 2020. A collaboration with Knitstanbul. Install view at Mount Stuart
Field Studies (from Kilchattan Bay to Hawk’s Neb) 1-36, 2019, Watercolour on Fabriano Paper, Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

The Library, 2020, Etched books of 400 – 800 million year old Inverness-shire and New England Mica, Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Our Hands Enact the Geologic Process (part one), 2020, Recycled wool. Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

Excerpts from the Library: An Audio Field Guide

June 11, 2021 Comments Off on Excerpts from the Library: An Audio Field Guide

Excerpts from the Library is an audio field guide designed to take you on a journey from Glasgow to the Isle of Bute. The work is presented as part of Glasgow International 2021.

The field guide builds on Halperin’s narrative performative lectures to tell a new story of love, lava, loss and the unexpected journeys that we now find ourselves on together. It also marks the artist’s 20th anniversary of working on active, quiet and sleeping volcanoes. Listeners are invited to embark on a domestic geologic field excursion with the artist and contributors Andrew Patrizio and Veronica Geiger, which takes us into Halperin’s solo exhibition There Is A Volcano Behind My House, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute.

We encourage listeners to experience it whilst travelling, walking, working or engaging in other armchair expeditions. We recommend listening with headphones.

Commissioned in partnership with Patricia Fleming Gallery and Mount Stuart Trust, with generous support from Creative Scotland.

Credits: Voices of Ilana Halperin, Andrew Patrizio & Veronica Geiger; Sound mix by Kaya Fraser; Mastering by John Harcus; Additional technical support by Charlotte Rogers; Design by After the News

To listen and learn more, go here :


Exhibition at Mount Stuart now online

May 10, 2021 Comments Off on Exhibition at Mount Stuart now online

I am delighted to share the link for Connelly Clark’s beautiful new film on There is a Volcano Behind My House at Mount Stuart – link below…

Detail view of The Library in There is a Volcano Behind My House at Mount Stuart. Photo credit : Keith Hunter Photography for Mount Stuart Trust.

Online exhibition from May 8. Exhibition opens for in person visits to Mount Stuart from June 6 – August 15, 2021



April 30, 2021 Comments Off on ONLINE LAUNCH FOR MOUNT STUART

Join us for the online launch of Ilana Halperin’s new exhibition at Mount Stuart.

About this Event

Continuing Mount Stuart’s ambitious Contemporary Visual Arts Programme this Spring we are delighted to invite you to the online launch of There is a Volcano Behind My House, a large multi-platformed solo exhibition by Scottish based artist Ilana Halperin. The exhibition at Mount Stuart focuses on new sculpture, using materials from the Isle of Bute, limestone from petrifying caves in Saint-Nectaire, France, and Mica from Maine, USA. The artist will also present work following a dynamic partnership with Bute Fabrics, a first for our Visual Arts Programme.

Join us on zoom with artist Ilana Halperin and Director of our Visual Arts Programme Sophie Crichton Stuart to watch a short film, by Connolly Clark Films, which explores the exhibition at Mount Stuart and the island that has inspired these new works. 

Following the screening there will be a short Q&A with Ilana and Sophie giving the audience an opportunity to delve deeper into the film. 

Register to join us on 8 May.