New exhibition by international artists coming to Leicester

Posted by pt91 at Dec 16, 2015 01:09 PM |
Lucy + Jorge Orta bring new show to Attenborough Arts Centre

Issued by Attenborough Arts on 14 December 2015

  • Lucy + Jorge Orta’s solo show brings together new work never shown in the UK.
  • Exhibition focuses on art that explores issues around environmental change and its social implications.

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre will host a new exhibition by internationally acclaimed artists Lucy + Jorge Orta in January 2016. This is part of the official opening ceremony of the centre’s new £1.5 million gallery, one of the largest contemporary art spaces in the region and a major new asset for Leicester. Lucy + Jorge Orta produce artwork that questions the social and ecological sustainability of the planet. Over the last two decades the artists have worked in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes, from the Antarctic to the Amazon.

The artists’ practice is driven by extensive research into the forces shaping our environment: the availability of food and water, the destruction of our rainforests, species and habitat loss, and global climate change. Lucy + Jorge Orta’s interdisciplinary approach combines techniques from sculpture, installation, architecture, fashion, design, and performance art to generate thought-provoking approaches to social and ecological dilemmas.

This new solo exhibition brings together artwork made over the last two decades, including Lucy + Jorge Orta’s characteristic social sculptures: assemblages of functional objects such as customised buoyancy aids, water flasks, and individually made sleeping bags, as well as drawings and wall mounted vitrines. The exhibition also features Symphony for Absent Wildlife a brand new multi-media and multi-sensory installation commissioned by the University of Leicester. This work involves a wind-orchestra of 20 musicians ‘Spirits’ dressed in a tailcoat and a sculpted mask of an endangered woodland creature, fashioned from reclaimed felt blankets. Each masked musician holds a hand-carved wooden bird whistle, to play a symphony of birdsong, which builds up to intensify the feeling of stepping into a fairy tale world, inhabited by fictional creatures. The performance ends abruptly plunging the performers into silent darkness.Lucy + Jorge Orta’s exhibition broadens Attenborough Arts Centre’s commitment to supporting socially purposeful contemporary art practice, as well as reinforcing the University of Leicester’s commitment to discovery-led research and education.

The Attenborough Arts Centre has been supported by the Breaking Barriers Appeal, which aims to help fulfil Richard Attenborough’s original vision to improve access to the arts for all. For more information about how to donate, please contact Ave Vinick at (0116) 252 2176 or or make a gift online at

Entrance to the gallery is FREE. The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 30 January and runs until Sunday 24 April 2016. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm, closed Bank Holidays. An opening preview will take place on Friday 29 January, 6pm – 9pm. Tickets are FREE, but advanced booking is strongly advised at
As part of the exhibition, the Attenborough Forum: Migration will take place on Thursday 25 February, 6pm – 9pm at Attenborough Arts Centre. The forum hosts an evening of talks and discussions drawing on the work of Lucy + Jorge Orta and their specific interest in migration. Tickets are FREE, booking advised. As part of the exhibition, Attenborough Arts Centre offers FREE lunchtime guided tours the first Wednesday of the month, FREE artist-led family workshops 1pm-3pm on Saturdays, and a FREE special day of family activities, Family extravaganza, on Saturday 30 January, 12pm - 4pm. For more information please visit


Notes to Editors:
Further details are available from Jessica Wood, tel 01273 488996, or Patricia Bennett at email, tel (0116) 223 1542.

About Attenborough Arts Centre
The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive. With over 18 years of experience, the programme offers courses and workshops, contemporary art, performance and live art, theatre and comedy, live music and jazz, dance, activities for children and families, and more. It is proud to champion emerging talent and disability-led performance companies, supporting those starting their careers. Its outstanding access and inclusive work has been recognised, through multiple awards and grants from Arts Council England, British Council, BBC Children in Need, Leicester Shire Promotions and Visit England. Its audience has grown to 57,000 people over the last year.

Attenborough Arts Centre is part of the University of Leicester’s Division of External Relations. Its new exhibition programme will significantly contribute to the University’s corporate social responsibility, wider public engagement and strategic research goals. It will specifically explore issues of human identity and inter-cultural interactions, promote inter-discipline, attract high-calibre collaborators, and encourage new imaginative approaches that culminate in exhibition projects.

Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Lucy + Jorge Orta biography
Lucy Orta (b. Sutton Coldfield, UK, 1966) and Jorge Orta (b. Rosario, Argentina, 1953)
Lucy + Jorge Orta’s artwork has been shown in The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2005); Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice Biennale (2005); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006); Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia, Antarctic Peninsula (2007); Hangar Bicocca spazio d’arte, Milan (2008); Natural History Museum, London (2010); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome and Shanghai Biennale (2012); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2013); Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca and Parc de la Villette, Paris (2014); London Museum Ontario (2015).
Numerous monographs about their practice have been published, and their work can be found in public and private collections around the world. Lucy + Jorge Orta’s studios are located in central Paris and Les Moulins—a cultural complex founded by the artists along an 8km stretch of the Grand Morin valley in Seine-et-Marne. Les Moulins is as an extension of their practice with the aim to establish a collective environment dedicated to artistic research and production of contemporary art. Informed by the natural environment and the industrial heritage, in particular the former mills and thriving paper making industry that once occupied the valley. The historical factories of Moulin Sainte-Marie, Moulin de Boissy, Moulin La Vacherie and La Laiterie are undergoing redevelopment to become artist studios, workshops, residencies, exhibition and performance spaces, and a 20-hectare sculpture park.

Lord Attenborough Biography
Born in 1923 the son of Frederick L. Attenborough (Principal of the University College, Leicester, and President of the Society in 1945-46), Richard Attenborough was brought up in Leicester and was educated at the Wyggeston Grammar School. After amateur performances with the School and the Leicester Little Theatre, he was awarded a Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal College of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1941. While still in his teens he made his West End debut and also gained an international reputation through his part in Noel Coward’s 1942 war film In which We Serve. A stage and film acting career of more than 60 years has been complemented by an equally distinguished career as a producer and director, beginning with award-winning Oh! What a Lovely War in 1968, and including Gandhi (1981 – eight Oscars) and Cry Freedom. Lord Attenborough was a frequent visitor to the University and a supporter of the institution. In 1970 he became an honorary graduate and in 2006 he was made a Distinguished Honorary Fellow – the highest award the University can bestow. You can watch a video of his response here.


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