17 July - 19 September 2010

Eva Berendes, Simon Bill, Alexandra Bircken, Nicholas Byrne, Raphael Danke, Peter Linde Busk, Kalin Lindena, Maria Loboda and Bernd Ribbeck

The Long Dark brings together sculpture, painting, photography and etchings by nine contemporary artists.

Taking as its starting point John Ruskin’s essay “The Nature of Gothic”, published in 1853, The Long Dark considers medieval revivalism in contemporary art. Ruskin championed the social, ethical and aesthetic values of the Gothic style and argued against modern, mechanical means of production. His ideas found resonance with the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain and the Bauhaus in Germany.

From Alexandra Bircken’s woven screens to Maria Loboda’s ‘poisonous’ wall drawing, the artists employ a variety of techniques and materials that combine industrial processes with traditional crafts. Carnivalesque colours and pattern reveal a rich mixture of medieval and modern references. Allusions to church architecture and stained glass can be found in sculpture by Kalin Lindena and paintings by Bernd Ribbeck. Heraldry, harlequins and abstract motifs are evoked in the work of Simon Bill, Nicholas Byrne and Peter Linde Busk. Elsewhere, Maria Loboda, Raphael Danke, Eva Berendes and Alexandra Bircken variously draw influence from occultism, folk art and handcraft, Bauhaus design, Surrealism and New Age aesthetics.


Curated by Michelle Cotton, an independent curator and writer based in London. The exhibition is an expanded version of an exhibition originally commissioned by International 3 and then shown at the Hatton Gallery in late 2009. It will include new work by many of the artists, including site-specific works by Kalin Lindena and Maria Loboda.