The fable of the Tower of Babel has been used as an analogy in many things – including major works of art like The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (yes, major). It is, after all, a story rich in symbolism: after the Great Flood a people united by language angered God by attempting to build a tower that would reach up to heaven, and he punished them by introducing different languages so that they could no longer communicate. Now, PAPER Gallery is drawing a parallel between artist Tracey Eastham’s new exhibition, inspired by the myth, and the current climate of political disharmony.
Babel is a solo exhibition featuring a new body of work by Eastham, resident artist at Rogue Studios and former participant in PAPER Gallery’s Tracing PAPER mentoring scheme in 2015. It will consist of gold paper cut-outs displayed in a variety of ways: as installation, in silhouette and encased in bell jars. The images Eastham works with are drawn from science fiction and romantic literature, the English landscape painting tradition and heritage publications; presented in a state of partial collapse, the gold cut-outs reference themes of preservation and ruin, of our relationship with the natural environment and our fragile construction of national ideas of ownership and identity.