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Places to Intervene in a System

Blue paint around a white outline of a tree branch
  • Written byPost-Grad Community
  • Published date17 August 2021
Blue paint around a white outline of a tree branch
Blue Pine Carborundum, Phil Barton

Places to Intervene in a System is an exhibition featuring three Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science postgraduates and a London College of Fashion PhD student.


This weekend five UAL postgraduate artists invite you to join them in an experimental exhibition, Places to Intervene in a System. Their work responds to the many challenges of humanity’s relations with the natural world which sustains us. The project grew out of a reading group at UAL on the theme of ‘human/ other-than-human’ theory.

In 1999 systems-thinker Donella Meadows, in her article Leverage points: Places to intervene in a system proposed that “Goals, power structures, rules and cultures” are the creators of systems of human behaviour and that humans have an instinctive awareness of the leverage points within these systems, the nodes where intervention is possible, but the problem is that we almost unerringly exert our leverage in the wrong direction. These insights are the starting point for the artists creative enquiries.

A dead moth
Poplar Hawk Moth, Katherine Pogson and Claire Shovelton

This year the UK hosts the United Nations COP26 in Glasgow. The implications of the human-generated climate emergency are ever clearer. Covid-19 crossed into humans as we encroached on natural habitats. Ecosystems are breaking down from the Great Barrier Reef to Greenland. In this exhibition, the artists will explore different ways to recalibrate human understanding, empathy and relationship with the natural world.

Places to Intervene seeks to turn things inside out and bring the outside in. Using different techniques to engage, understand and take action, they invite you to join them - to explore artworks and participate in events both inside the gallery space and outside in the Museum Garden and local nature reserves.

a multicoloured marbling effect of paint
Elastic Fiction, Becky Lyon

Exhibiting artists: Becky Lyon, Katherine Pogson, Claire Shovelton, Phil Barton and Catherine Herbert.

Places to Intervene takes place Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August 2021, at the Lumen Gallery @ The Crypt and Museum Gardens, St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9PA.

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