Press Release

Illuminating the Wilderness

Tate Liverpool

4 – 28 April 2019

Sponsored by Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University
Image still of the film Illuminating the Wilderness

16mm film still from Illuminating Wilderness expedition 2018.
Photo © EXPLORERS Project Art Works

Tate Liverpool presents a new film made by a group of artists, including Ben Rivers and Margaret Salmon. Filmed in the Scottish Highlands, Illuminating the Wilderness 2018 documents the exploration of Glen Affric by people who are highly sensitive to the sensory stimuli of the world around them.

The film is at the heart of a collaborative project entitled EXPLORERS 2019, which involves Tate Liverpool and Project Art Works together with six other major partners in the UK and Australia. Project Art Works is the UK’s leading artist-led organisation working with neurodiverse adults, young people and children. Neurodiversity is a term and approach to learning and disability, which reflects and respects differences in those members of society who have a range of complex physical and neurological support needs.

Illuminating the Wilderness is a new work made by Project Art Works’ artists Kate Adams and Tim Corrigan, in collaboration with artists Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon, and Project Art Works’ artists and makers, their families and support teams. The film follows the shared experience of days spent together investigating a remote Scottish glen, as well as the pleasures and challenges of neurodiverse responses to the landscape. The explorers stay in lodges among trees and venture out to find a small island. They travel about in a convoy of 4x4 vehicles and share a night in a remote bothy under a crisp night sky. This gives way to torrential rain during the early morning retreat back to base. Moments of humour and tender consideration for each other are revealed as the film unfolds in and around the landscape and weather systems of the mountains.

Complementing the film is an evolving installation of artwork made in collaboration with neurodiverse people and groups from Social Care organisations across Merseyside including Natural Breaks, Options for Supported Living, Blue Room, and Thingwall Resource Centre. Initially a series of huge blank paper banners, the installation will be increasingly populated by drawings and paintings made by the groups as well as general visitors taking part in gallery workshops throughout the presentation.

Lindsey Fryer, Head of Learning, Tate Liverpool said: ‘We are delighted to collaborate with Project Art Works, an organisation that shares the same commitment as Tate to make arts and culture accessible to all.’

Illuminating the Wilderness and the accompanying art installation is part of an annual season of commissions entitled We Have Your Art Gallery. Previous projects include Art Gym, O.K - The Musical, and Utupya by Brazilian collective OPAVIVARÁ. We Have Your Art Gallery is an experimental and developing project that reimagines what a museum can be and how it can programme for and with the public.

EXPLORERS 2019 is the culmination of a three-year programme of workshops, seminars, exhibitions, installations and new cultural commissioning models that place neurodiverse communities, artists and makers at the heart of civic and cultural life. Illuminating the Wilderness and neurodiverse perceptions of ‘wilderness’ provide a metaphor for discussion on cultural inclusion that is central to the wider EXPLORERS programme of attitudinal change through art.

For press information contact or call +44(0)151 702 7444.

High resolution press images can be downloaded from Tate Liverpool's Dropbox Site. This link will expire when the exhibition has closed.

Project Art Works
Based in Hastings, Project Art Works is the UK’s leading artist led organisation working with children, young people and adults who have complex support needs. Project Art Works’ EXPLORERS is a three-year programme of art and conversation led by the organisation, in partnership with cultural institutions across the UK. This programme aims to develop positive relationships between cultural organisations and the social care sector and to reposition people who have complex needs at the forefront of mainstream culture. The EXPLORERS project is supported by the Arts Council Ambition for Excellence Programme and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Established in 1997, Project Art Works has collaborated with thousands of people with complex needs and continues to offer support and friendship to them and their families. Their programmes evolve through personalised, supported studio practice and radiate out to awareness raising and skills development in the cultural sector in order to promote diversity in programming and relevancy for audiences. Project Art Works promote and disseminate artist’s work through a wide range of projects, exhibitions, co-commissions, film, publications and digital platforms.

Birmingham City
University Birmingham City University and Tate Liverpool have a shared outlook on the benefit of art, art education, and art research. The relationship between Tate Liverpool and Birmingham City University, in particular Birmingham School of Art, is built around the common goals of broadening participation in art and culture and increasing their impact among diverse audiences. The University are supporting We Have Your Art Gallery as part of a three-year partnership agreement.

About Arts Council England
Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual 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 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Related Events

  • Tate Liverpool


    Illuminating the Wilderness

    4–28 Apr 2019

    A new film and installation created by artists and people with a variety of complex needs