A researcher and artist from UCA, who circumnavigated the globe by motorbike to visually explore the historical and modern trade routes, is to open an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society on Wednesday 9 May.
Simon Pruciak, a lecturer at UCA Canterbury who specialises in lens-based media, will be giving a talk and showcasing Journey Limitless through elements from the project’s forthcoming book – due to be published this autumn – including more than 100 images and an eight-channel video installation.
Simon says: “The project is considered from three different perspectives: the political, the artistic and the scientific.
“The political side will be considered when the project is presented at the HQ of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland next year, whereas the artistic was already considered at the Zampelas Museum of Arts in Nicosia Cyprus last month and will also be explored in other galleries worldwide. The Royal Geographical Society brings in the scientific. The project used the creative geographies methodology and explores the role of art in the making of geographical knowledge, so this is quite an exciting exhibition for us.”
The journey began in Rio de Janeiro and, over the course of 12 months, travelled through South America, Central America, the USA, Canada, Asia and Europe. The expedition was documented through photography, video, text and drawing.
The aim of Journey Limitless was to research the way that geography and the visual arts interact – an area that, at the time, was relatively unexplored. Through his research, Simon worked to investigate common territories and boundaries of art and geography by crossing physical borders of diverse cultural contexts to better understand the similarities and differences in cultural and physical landscape.
Speaking about the latest exhibition, Simon comments: “It is the first one in the UK but we have more coming up, as well as exhibitions scheduled in Lebanon, France, Taiwan and Poland, and a lot more in the planning.”
Throughout the journey, which received patronage from the UN and research funding from UCA, Simon gave creative and educational workshops along the way to schoolchildren living in deprived areas.
“Delivering these workshops had a big impact on me,” Simon adds. “I guess I’ve known this theoretically, but I was able to see and compare first hand just how privileged and lucky we are in the UK and Europe to have access to art education, and participate in it and make it happen. While this privilege might be being cut down on a regular basis, it is still one a vast majority of the world don’t have.”
Find out more about the opening of the exhibition here.