EWRM Artist’s statement
Crystal Palace Park is a meeting place of versions of the past and future: Hawkins’s dinosaur sculptures (1854), the missing Crystal Palace (1851), the National Sports Centre – a Modernist palace to human bodies (1964). Utopian ideas and projects from different eras coexist, a unifying thread being a belief in scientific progress and that humans can fashion themselves and their environment. The dinosaurs are artfully positioned and maintained in landscaped gardens with trees and lakes, which are also home to ducks, geese, humans and their tools and other creatures. Our project will examine this hybrid urban ecology and the desires, labour and technologies that continue to contribute to it. The photographs draw on this archaeology of the site to imagine future bodies and ecologies.
Ruth Maclennan is an artist working in moving image, writing, and photography. Emma Woffenden is an artist trained in glassmaking working with sculpture and installation. Following our research project in 2016, Live in Your Hands, we decided to develop a new artwork near where we live in southeast London, in Crystal Palace Park, using part of an ACE award.