Outwardbound, Group exhibition, Norwich Gallery, Norwich. Curated by Michelle Cotton and Andrew Marsh, May 1 - June 8 2002.

Outwardbound presents four artist projects that have ventured off the beaten tracks of formal and institutional practice. Operating outside the conventional studio environment, these artists place emphasis on an activity as opposed to its conclusion. The works in the exhibition suggest art as a means to experiment, report, record and fail beautifully.

Andrew Hewitt and Melanie Jordan have collaborated widely on site specific and temporary works for public spaces. Frequently working closely with the local community, their work often necessitates extensive research and a direct engagement with social context. For Outwardbound the artists will work with staff and students of Norwich School of Art and Design to explore the relationship of the gallery to the institution and the visiting public at large. Using the huge, diametrically opposed windows of the main Fine Art buildings the artists will initiate a non-verbal dialogue between the students working in the studios on either side of St Georges Street. Students from Textiles and Printmaking will be encouraged to communicate with each other by exchanging signs and symbols, using the windows as a platform for messaging. In the gallery Hewitt and Jordan plan to install a series of viewing posts focused on objects positioned in the public area outside the building. By sparking an interdepartmental dialogue that is externally visible and inviting gallery visitors to look beyond the space Hewitt and Jordan will explore the thresholds of the institution and encourage the public to participate in its activity.

Ben Sadler's solo work translates elements of nostalgic American cool into solitary interventions in his native Birmingham. Ma Broís Country is a series of snap shots taken on wanderings with 20 Malboro in a wilderness of industry and park benches. Repeatedly pictured contemplating some cultivated vista, the artist maps the cityís deserted recreational grounds. A Casper David Fredrich-style Explorer atop a Ford Escort, an outwardbound Malboro Man, Sadler plays out a contemporary photo narrative of inaction and rootlessness in urban plains.

Ivan Morison's practice is centred around a Victorian leisure garden that he rents in Edgbaston, Birmingham. For the past three years Morison has been sampling his skills as a gardener, documenting his success and failure through photography, drawing and film and publishing this activity regularly via announcement cards distributed to a mailing list. In generating this account of his practice Morison has created a remote and often entirely imagined familiarity with his allotment. The observational drawings in the exhibition document his 2001 crop of Red Flare Cabbages in the tradition of Victorian horticulturalist illustration. For the first week of the exhibition the artist will participate in Norfolkís own tradition of agricultural commerce, selling locally grown vegetables from his barrow in Norwich city centre.

juneau/projects/ (Phil Duckworth & Ben Sadler) experiment with sound, music and lo-fi equipment. Interested in the proliferation of electronic goods in consumer culture, juneau repeatedly pitch technology against nature or uncertain elements, de-valuing their equipment and advertising its disposability. In walkman/lake the artists document a recording made from a dinghy on a lake during their 2001 residency at Grizedale, Cumbria. As the dinghy is rowed out a Richard Strauss soundtrack is relayed to amps and speakers on the shore by a walkman on-board. At the centre of the lake the walkman is lowered into the water and the sound becomes distorted as the machine malfunctions. Sampling classical music in this Romantic landscape juneau/projects/ question the authenticity of high art mediated by low-tech. The artists' band OHNe will play live at the Student Union Bar on the exhibition opening night

Norwich Gallery
© 2005 Hewitt & Jordan