Perpetuating the memory of one of the greatest men of the Victorian age

Reimagining Nowhere: an exhibition by Benjamin Deakin

November 14, 2019 – February 29, 2020

A new exhibition by contemporary British artist Benjamin Deakin exploring the notions of Utopia, Dystopia and the legacy on visual culture of Morris’s News from Nowhere.

Deakin is particularly interested in combining historical and contemporary landscape painting styles and repeat patterns bringing an immediate connection with Morris’s designs. The exhibition consists of some newly created paintings and prints together with others first seen in Deakin’s solo exhibition Seeking News from Nowhere last year. Deakin says the exhibition will ‘highlight that Morris’s vision of utopia sits alongside a wide variety of writers of Victorian science fiction that have left a strong visual legacy’. He hopes the exhibition will introduce more contemporary art lovers to Morris’s work. Reimagining Nowhere is also influenced by other quasi-utopian literature, particularly that of E A Abbott, H G Wells and Aldous Huxley. Other influences include surrealist painter and war artist Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland, who worked in glass, fabric, prints and portraits.

News from Nowhere first appeared in the form of serial publication in the Socialist League’s Commonwealth between January and October 1890. It seems particularly fitting that the Reimagining Nowhere exhibition is in the Coach House at Kelmscott House as this is where the novel’s narrator begins his dream.

The exhibition will open on Thursday 14th November.

Elisionator: 2018, Oil on Canvas, 65 x 75cm
Benjamin Deakin