The Earth Murmurs While We Sleep

The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool 2015

In this exhibition of new work Lisa Wigham explores what lies beneath the landscape – the deep flows and movements that occur below the earth’s crust. Following a recent residency undertaken at the Arquetopia Foundation in Puebla, Mexico, Wigham became fascinated by the looming presence of the neighbouring volcanoes Popocatepel and Ixtaccihuatl and the permanent sense of possible catastrophe that hung invisibly in the air of the neighbouring area. For the artist these volcanoes ‘whisper a smoky threat’.

With a history of mining in the region, the Meso-American Mexico people believed that to break into the earth was to enter a sacred space and to allay this, people asked for favour from nature on a daily basis. This tradition of asking the gods for help continues to manifest through ephemeral materials and totemic practices, and Wigham’s work develops a wistful correspondence with this enduring heritage.