Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery

Part of our Exhibitions guide

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
Image courtesy of El Morgan

Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery, Castlefield, 12 February–12 March 2023, free entry - Find Out More

Castlefield Gallery is starting this year’s programme of exhibitions with a brand new show – Tale of the Frozen Bits by El Morgan is opening in February.

Combining a variety of mediums, from sculpture and video to sound and text work, El Morgan uses her personal experience (including a recent £350 bill from a fertility clinic to continue to store her embryos) to explore the history of fertility drugs and the existing medical structures around the issue of fertility.

Despite the serious concepts being explored, the show maintains an air of playfulness with the artist including elements like recording the sound of her own urine or conversations with researchers on the sex lives of frogs.

A lot of Morgan’s previous work also focuses on biology, all things organic and our entanglement with other species. In her work How to rub a fish (2015 – ongoing), the artist runs workshops that explore the Japanese printing technique of Gyotaku (‘fish rubbing’) which involves inking up a fish and rubbing the imprint onto paper. Morgan uses edible squid ink, so that afterwards, all the materials can be eaten. In the series It’s getting hot in here (2018 – 2020), Morgan mimics the process of camouflaging carried out by the aquatic larvae of the caddis fly. Just like the fly, the artist uses objects from her immediate environment to camouflage herself – she takes paper, tape, foil and many other things available and sticks them to her body. In 2016 she also published an illustrated book Gossamer Days: Spiders, Humans and Their Threads examining the relationship between humans and spiders.

In Tale of the Frozen Bits, she moves away from explorations of flora and fauna to focus on humans, which is granted even more gravitas in the increasingly restrictive context of women’s reproductive rights.

You might not be expecting references to gallons of nuns’ urine, multiplying hamster cells, horse glands and millions of frogs in a show about fertility. However, alongside these ingredients, the exhibition explores our attitudes to women’s bodies and investigates the complex legal, ethical and physical considerations of the unseen history of fertility.

Tale of the Frozen Bits will be accompanied by a number of related events – go to the Castlefield Gallery website to find out more.

Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery, Castlefield

12 February–12 March 2023
Free entry

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts

Activity Until 6 March 2023, from £6.00

Shake it off: Music Video Dance Class with Girl Gang

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families Until 11 March 2023, from £20.00

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre

Childrens Until 18 March 2023, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth