Leeroy New, The Arks of Gimokudan, image © Ben Queenborough/PA

The Arks of Gimokudan by Leeroy New

26 Mar - 27 Apr 2022
Edmond J. Safra
Fountain Court

This Spring, Philippine artist-designer Leeroy New presents his first UK large-scale installation, The Arks of Gimokudan, a major new commission by Somerset House to mark the occasion of Earth Day 2022, a worldwide event which takes place on 22 April championing transformative environmental change.  

This striking outdoor installation features a fleet of three ships, constructed using reused and recycled materials and plastic waste. Docked in the centre of Somerset House’s famous courtyard, the arks appear to float, elevated up to three metres from the ground, inviting visitors to imagine they are underwater themselves, looking up at these fantastical forms.

Leeroy New moulds and manipulates the plastics by hand, transforming waste into new forms that are mesmerising and beautiful. Addressing the often problematic life cycle of everyday objects, the sculptures also confront audiences with the scale of single use plastic waste impacting the UK and the globe on a daily basis. The plastics used within the installation will be collected and recycled following the conclusion of the run.  

Leeroy New: The Arks of Gimokudan (Trailer)

In creating each vessel, New draws upon the history, culture and mythologies of his home nation, the Philippines, the country most at risk from the climate crisis according to a report published in 2019 by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Through his work, New reimagines and creates alternative, positive futures for himself, his peers and community. By occupying a central and much loved public space in London, this commission brings attention to the communities and countries which face irreversible damage from the effects of rising sea levels and temperatures, but which are often merely an afterthought in today’s climate change debates.

Commissioned with support from Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation and the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund 

With funding from Westminster City Council and additional support from Mercedes U. Zobel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the British Council

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