Barbican: Our Time On Earth

Widescreen Geo Mapping
Through the keyhole
Smirka Wahikwa’s fabric forest

"The world's ecosystems are a beautifully complex network that we all belong to."

Found on the first piece of signage, this sentence couldn't sum up the Barbican's latest exhibition better. Our Time On Earth is a smorgasbord of visual arts, music, interactive displays and various intersecting sciences that aims to reinvigorate humankind's connection to nature. The meandering exhibit takes you through a series of installations emphasising not only how we could be more in tune with our planet's ecosystems, but also how we've damaged them and distanced ourselves from them over time.

One point in the journey brings you to Smirka Wahikwa's fabric forest, a tall canopy-like passage formed of banners. Each displaying messages and art depicting indigenous communities and their connection to nature and the natural world, illustrating how a more symbiotic relationship with our planet is not a modern and innovative concept, but one we've been ignoring.

Zero waste Fashion
Ane Crabtree costumes for Planet City

Another part of the exhibit displayed a set of 5 costumes by Hollywood costume designer Ane Crabtree. Created for a film called 'Planet City' by Liam Young, the zero-waste outfits explored not just upcycling fabrics and reusing garments, but delved into how different cultures would adapt to using remade materials in this new imagined civilisation.

The exhibition as a whole was a fascinating look into future concepts and possibilities, it was exciting to see how we could be more in tune with the natural systems that exist around us. Also, it was a healthy reminder that we've always been a part of those systems - and maybe we haven't been pulling our weight.

Posted 11 May, 2022 by Jack Cassel-Gerard