Powerful new exhibition highlights how memory lingers in our landscapes

  • University of Sheffield researchers collaborate with Museums Sheffield to launch new art exhibition exploring the presence of past conflict and trauma in contemporary landscapes
  • The exhibition at Sheffield’s Graves Gallery will bring work from a host of internationally renowned artists to the city
  • The evocative photographs on display blur the boundaries between documentary and the work of imagination

James Morris, Lifta, district of Jerusalem. From Time and Remains of Palestine

A new art exhibition exploring the lingering presence of traumatic events within our fields, streets and cities is being launched by researchers from the University of Sheffield in collaboration with Museums Sheffield.

Opening at Graves Gallery on Thursday 5 March 2020, Invisible Wounds: Landscape in Memory and Photography is set to show how artists represent the echoes of devastating acts that continue to haunt the landscapes in which they took place.

Curated by Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson from the University’s School of Languages and Cultures, in partnership with Museums Sheffield, the exhibition brings together over 45 photographs which blur the boundaries between documentary and the work of imagination to explore how the past lingers in the present.

The exhibition will feature work from internationally renowned artists Denis Darzacq, Chloe Dewe Mathews, David Farrell, Roberto Frankenberg, Elisa Larvego, James Morris, Simon Norfolk and Zineb Sedira.

The images on display will show sites that bear little or no visible trace of their traumatic history, but where those events remain scarred in individual or collective memory.

Elisa Larvego, Under the national road, near the Calais jungle, 2016 ? Elisa Larvego / Cnap

Photographs featured in the exhibition will include Denis Darzacq’s depictions of former First World War battlefields, where trees seem to have become portraits of the soldiers that fell there. Also amongst the works on display will be Elisa Larvego’s images of the ever-changing temporary constructions of the Calais Jungle, whose inhabitants struggled to find some sense of normality in a site perpetually shifting and under threat of being demolished.

Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson said: “When traumatic events like conflict or destruction occur, the memories of them can remain long after the visible traces of the events have gone. These memories have a lasting impact on how a place develops and can influence the way people see places for many years to come.

“This experience is something that is explored in the artwork on display in the exhibition. It highlights the role that trauma has in place-making. The exhibition will enable people to view different places around the world through the eyes of others and see memories that otherwise might be invisible.”

Louisa Briggs, Exhibitions and Display Curator at Museums Sheffield said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Dr Crawley Jackson and the University of Sheffield to show these remarkable, thought-provoking works at Graves Gallery.

“Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the history that’s woven into the fabric of the streets that we walk down and the environments we experience. In places where traumatic events have taken place the signs of that trauma fade with time, but still remain in our collective memories. The artists featured in in this exhibition each evoke those memories in powerful and tangible ways.”

Chloe Dewe Mathews, Soldaat Jean Raes, Soldaat Alphonse Verdickt

Invisible Wounds: Landscape in Memory and Photography runs from Thursday 5 March – Saturday 20 June 2020 at the Graves Gallery, Sheffield. Entry to the exhibition is free.

For more information on the exhibition and the associated event programme, to be announced soon, visit: https://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/invisible-wounds

Additional information

School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sheffield

Graves Gallery

Above the Central Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield, S1 1XZ. Tel. 0114 278 2600.
Graves Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm (Wednesdays 1 – 6pm)
Free Entry

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Museums Sheffield

Museums Sheffield is the charity which runs the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum, and cares for the city’s collections of art, human history and natural science.

We strive to provide inspirational museums and galleries where people can reflect upon the past, question the present and imagine the future. Each year we welcome over a million people through our doors. Our mission is to connect with our visitors, share stories about Sheffield and the wider world through the city’s collections and through our collaborations with local, national and international partners.

Find out more at museums-sheffield.org.uk


For further information please contact:

Sean Barton
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852