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Action Menu / Conscious Oil Exhibition 2011


Myth and Mind in the Age of Petroleum

Lino etching by Emily Johns: An albatross stretches its huge wings (touched with gold) over a gigantic mass of plastic stranded in the middle of a black ocean. Click on the image for a higher resolution image (2Mb).

Gallery of images from the exhibition here.

An exhibition by Emily Johns and Anne Rouse.
Prints and poetry.

An exploration of the intricate relationship between history, language and the geosphere; through the locus of oil, Conscious Oil investigates crude oil as a natural repository of the primordial past rather than a commodity to be exploited at all costs, part of a shift in consciousness which will increasingly mark humanity’s new relationship with nature. We present events alongside the exhibition. Below is a 14 minute video by Patrick Nicholson about the making of the exhibition.

Exhibition and events: 19-31 May, 11am-5pm

Hastings Arts Forum, 36 Marina, St Leonards on Sea, TN38 0BU


26-31 May: The Writing Room
The Writing Room is a quiet and relaxing space in which to reflect on the art of Emily Johns and to respond imaginatively and at leisure to the "fifth element". There will be oil from a Sussex oil well on display, and writing materials available. All welcome.

Sunday 22 May 2pm-4 pm
Carbon Generations. A performance by Benjamin D and Tim Fairs from PLATFORM using intimate stories from family histories to look at the rise and fall of coal, gas and oil across seven generations.

Thursday 26 May 7.30pm
Fuel on the Fire. Iraq expert Greg Muttitt will take us behind the scenes to answer one of the most pressing questions: what is happening to Iraq’s oil?

Friday 27 May 6.30pm-8.30pm
Private View
6.30pm Deconvoilution real-time manipulation of sound, image and video by physicist Dr Patrick Nicholson.
7.30pm The Carbon Town Cryer 'sweetly revolutionary sounds' - New Internationalist

Sunday 29 May 10am-11am
Children’s storytelling (6yrs+) A Story written in response to the pictures and poems from the exhibition. Facilitated by Mary Dawson.


Previous showings
22nd-23rd November
Welsh Assembly's Climate Team event, The Pavilion, Llangollen.

10-12 September 2010

The School Creative Centre, New Road, Rye, TN31 7LS.


Launch 6pm-9pm.

7pm: Jane Manning, recently described on Radio 3 as "the iconic soprano", will provide an original vocal rendering of Anne Rouse's poem on oil and the zeitgeist.
Also Deconvoilution Real-time manipulation of sound, image and video responding to the exhibition and its local resonances by physicist Dr Patrick Nicholson.


Open 10am-6pm.

10am-11am: Geological Qigong session with Annie Cryar. Rye is a focus of wind, oil and nuclear energies: Qigong will introduce you to other forms of energy. Annie Cryar is the principal of the Shiatsu College Hastings.

12noon-2pm: Carbon Generations Who was the first person in your family to smell paraffin? Will your great-grandchildren recognise the sound of the internal combustion engine? A performance by PLATFORM using intimate stories from family histories to look at the rise and fall of coal, gas, oil, across seven generations. PLATFORM works across disciplines for social and ecological justice.

4pm-5.30pm: Writing workshop With poet Anne Rouse looking at Emily Johns’ art as an inspiration for poems or other text on the mythology of oil, and the artist’s process, Globally, oil has meant fuel and catastrophe, but could it also signify something richer and more poetic? All welcome.
6pm: Dance of Peace led by Fiona Wright; a celebration of the evolving nature of oil. (Suitable for all levels of fitness).


Open 10am-6pm.

11am: Children’s story-telling (6yrs+) using pictures and poems from the exhibition. Facilitated by Mary Dawson of Sareea, a Hastings-based organisation which uses creativity to inform and empower children to make a positive contribution in their communities, in relation to global environmental concerns.

2pm: The Carbon Town Cryer’s Tidal Suite. A song cycle from a singer sometimes invited, sometimes not, hollering fiery songs for a planet perhaps not yet too hot...

4pm: Oil Crises Milan Rai, author of Chomsky’s Politics, examines the role of Middle Eastern oil in international affairs since World War II.




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Action Menu / Conscious Oil Exhibition 2011