Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Exhibition: The Pillars of Our Latex House

Location

Watermans Arts Centre,

40 High Street,
BRENTFORD,
London,
TW8 0DS

Dates

This exhibition runs from Sat, 23rd Mar 2024 to Thu, 9th May 2024.

Forthcoming dates:

Fri,
19th Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)
Sat,
20th Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)
Sun,
21st Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)
Wed,
24th Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)
Thu,
25th Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)
Fri,
26th Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)
Sat,
27th Apr 2024  
(12:30pm - 7pm)

Cost: Free of Charge

Description

The Pillars of Our Latex House: A thanks to the gutta-percha tree and to those who keep it.

As one of the first pilots in the Artcast4D project, artist, Tendayi Vine explores the identity of the gutta-percha tree - as a material, as a symbol, as an architect of communications and also as a figure of tension and displacement.

Indigenous to the Malaysian archipelago, by the 19th Century the gutta-percha tree was known for the rubber that made underwater telegraph cables a revolutionary success. But the industry, wealth and power of this history is shared with those who knew the forests and read the signs. And with those who continue to repair the damage today, cultivating seeds while miles of sap lines the ocean floors.

The gutta-percha tree is a species native to Malaysia and was introduced to western industrial processes in the 19th century. Used across Asia for many years for a range of uses, the tree was harvested for wood/ sap/ fruit. In Europe, the rubber/sap quickly became known for its insulating properties and malleability - and specifically became the answer to successful underwater cabling. The use of this material advanced transatlantic telecoms and contributed to Britain's Victorian global industry, with gutta-percha becoming a common feature in everyday life (factories and businesses that would make cables but also jewellery, furniture, medical items...). The industry around this material brought great wealth and power as industries shaped cities and empires emerged as global networks.

Unsustainable and damaging harvesting led to huge ecological damage - the effects of this are still seen today with gutta-percha regrowth programs aiming to restore species numbers.

The Pillars of Our Latex House reflects on the way the gutta-percha tree was exploited and on the meaning behind the communications system that enabled the Nineteenth Century revolution in global communications.


Disclaimer

The information and prices in this listing are presumed to be correct at the time of publishing, but please always check with the venue before making a special trip.

All images are supplied by the exhibition organiser.

This exhibition runs from Sat, 23rd Mar 2024 to Thu, 9th May 2024

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

April 2024

May 2024

Location

Watermans Arts Centre,

40 High Street,
BRENTFORD,
London,
TW8 0DS

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