John Newling | Work and Exhibition Updates

New Book: Dear Nature

Dear Nature is a book consisting of 81 letters to nature written over 81 days. The letters explore our relationship to the natural ecology. Part truth and reconciliation, part advocacy of an urgent need, part thoughts for future social ecologies, the letters reflect an intense period of time that Newling spent trying to find where here is. In parallel to the letters there are images of 81 days of growth of Linum usitatissimum plant. The text is currently being translated into French for a live pubic reading of the letters on the 26 January 2019. Venue TBC.

You can buy the book here at Beam Editions or on Amazon


Forthcoming Exhibitions: 2018 / 2019

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Criminal Ornamentation: Yinka Shonibare MBE curates the Arts Council Collection.

The work Value, Coin, Note and Eclipse  (2011–2012) has been selected and will be touring to the following venues in 2018–2019

Attenborough Arts centre, Leicester: 21 September–16 December 2018
Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter: 19 January–16 March 2019
Longside Gallery, Wakefield – 5 April–16 June 2019
Southhampton City Art Gallery, Southhampton: 27 June–28 September 2019

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The Making of Landscape
1st December – 26 January La Galerie Duchamp 

Yvetot, France Curator; Julie Faitot, Alice Mallet

Newling will be showing works from my Diep / Haven residency. In 2016 Newling was invited to be resident as part of the Diep Haven residency.

“My work for Dieppe started with me germinating wild flower and flax seeds, given to me by Franck Sagaert a farmer from the co-operative. I was particularly interested in how the seed first geminated and how roots evolve under the soil. I was further interested in how Franck manages the co-relationship between himself and the natural ecology.

I have worked on many projects that review my co- relationship to a natural ecology starting through the agency of growing a specific plant or plants. For this reason I felt some empathy with Franck.”

-John Newling


A couple works from the project / residency:
Frank’s field is 81 tiles (243 casts). The 81 tiles (9x9) reflect the 81 dear nature letters 267 cm x 187 cm. It is made of soil and text from the dear nature letters and embedded elements from all the experiments done from last spring to now. It a kind of conceptual carpet that has embedded in it the visual situations, texts and activities developed from growing the seeds Frank gave me.
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New Commission

Warwick Art Collection

During 2018 I have been working on 3 works commissioned by the Warwick Art Collection with Curator: Sarah Shalgosky. Working under the title of ‘Trying to find where here is’ the works are now almost complete and ready to be taken into the collection.

Below is glimpse of these works

1. ‘Trying to find where here is.’ This is single work made of 9 elements that hang as a grid of 3x3 Each of the 9 works are W= 62 cm x Ht=51 cm x D=4cm (to be installed later this year or early 2019)

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2. ‘Our shadows alone touched you trying to find where here is.’ A sculptural work for a tree in a forest. (to be installed later this year or early 2019)

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Recent Exhibitions

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Cultivation: Points of Vantage: Hestercombe
Saturday, 17th March to Sunday, 1st July


Curator: Tim Martin

This Hestercombe Gallery exhibition attempts to unearth the unique perspectives and pathways that eight artists have taken in responding to the world around us.

Featured artists: Anna Barriball; George Shaw; John Brown; John Newling; Mariele Neudecker; Mary Griffiths; Mary McIntyre; Mikhail Karikis.

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Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’
Herbert Gallery and Coventry Cathedral
15 September–18 November 2018


Newling installed Eliot’s Note books and Eliot’s Soil in Coventry Cathedral and Eliot’s Last Draft In the Herbert Gallery Eliot’s Last Draft was a new work made for the Warwick and Coventry edition of this exhibition.

Curators: Fiona Venables, Rosie Addenbrooke
Photography © Francis Ware, 2018
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‘Eliot’s last draft’: July 2018

Eliot’s last draft Unframed Dimensions: W 76 cm (30 ins) x Ht 56 cm (22ins) x Depth 3 cm (1 ins).
Photography © Francis Ware, 2018

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Working the Earth / The Working Earth: diep~haven ONCA Brighton.
31 July - 10 August Language: 2013-14


Newling showed five works that reconfigured the Moringa Oifera trees grown in the  ‘Ecologies of Value’ installation at the Exchange gallery, Penzance. Each of the tress was scanned and reproduced as a suggested character of a language. This was the first time these works had been seen.

Photo credit: Nigel Green
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Transart Institute