A new exhibition opens at the Pier Arts Centre on Saturday 3 September. Ilana Halperin: The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) is a cross-disciplinary project connecting Yamaguchi, in Japan, and Orkney.
The exhibition features new works by Glasgow-based artist Ilana Halperin, developed both in Japan and Scotland, alongside thematically resonant works by Yamaguchi-based artists Yoshihisa Nakano and Keijiro Suzuki.
The exhibition is curated by Naoko Mabon who commented “After a sudden and long pause since our intimate interactions with the landscape and people in Yamaguchi in 2018-19, finally it is time for us to reactivate our corporeal curiosity and mobility to meet and connect to a different - yet related - geologic landscape and people: Orkney.
As well as the funders and everyone at The Pier Arts Centre, I would like to thank all the artists and supporters of The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) for not giving up their belief in this project, which keeps transforming, growing and moving, just like a rock.”
Like Orkney, Yamaguchi is known for its geological significance - notably through Akiyoshidai, an area that contains the highest concentration of karst (an area of land made up of limestone) in Japan, and Akiyoshido, the nation’s largest and longest limestone cave.
In 2018 Ilana Halperin took part in the Akiyoshidai International Art Village residency in Japan. The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) builds on the work Halperin embarked upon as a result of the residency.
Through research and public programming crossing visual art and natural science hosted by Yamaguchi University in 2019, Halperin developed a new body of work utilising materials unique to Yamaguchi. This culminated in three solo exhibitions in Yamaguchi, including at the Natural History Museum in Akiyoshidai in autumn 2019.
The exhibition at the Pier Arts Centre features Halperin's Yamaguchi focused work, as well as new works incorporating Scottish materials and natural phenomena, from ancient waves on Ness beach rocks in Stromness, to marble from the Isle of Iona, and soil from the farm in the Scottish Borders where 18th century geologist James Hutton lived and worked.
The exhibition takes its title from the “rock cycle,” a geological concept describing how rocks change from one type to another over deep geologic time.
Ilana Halperin commented “What might shift in our understanding of and relationship with geology and geological time, if we imagine ourselves as part of the rock cycle? As part of a deep time calcium carbonate family tree from coral, limestone and marble to our teeth and bones?”
There will be an afternoon of events, including an Origami windmill making workshop led by Keijiro Suzuki, focusing on the exhibition as part of the Orkney International Science Festival on Saturday 3 September.
Admission is £10 and spaces are limited so booking is essential through the Orkney International Science Festival website
Neil Firth, Pier Arts Centre Director added “The Pier Arts Centre has been working with creative partners across Japan for many years and the links between Orkney and Japan have been greatly strengthened recently through the Orkney Japan Association. The exhibition The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) and the work of Ilana Halperin also bridges these seemingly distant locations, bringing artist, curators and others together in a fascinating explorations of time and common geologies. We are grateful to Scottish/Japanese Curator Naoko Mabon for her work in connecting these creative partners.”
The Rock Cycle (Yamaguchi) will be on display at the Pier Arts Centre from 3 September until 12 November. The Pier Arts Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:30am-5pm. Admission is Free