John Newling

Residency 2016-2017

John Newling was born in Birmingham in 1952 and has an acclaimed international reputation creating projects and installing works in the UK and many other countries.

Nottingham-based, John Newling is a pioneer of public art with a social purpose. His works explore the natural world and the social and economic systems of society – such as money or religion. To this end Newling has innovated the possibilities and benefits for art in a renewed social and conceptual framework.

He belongs to a generation of artists whose work evolved from Conceptual Art, Land Art and Arte Povera – art movements occurring during the 1960s that placed emphasis on the concept, process and site of the work, alongside material and aesthetic properties.

After having visited Aberdeenshire and the Barn for the first time in 2013, John Newling returned for an artist's residency that started in 2016. For the last year he has been writing short letters to Nature. The ‘Dear Nature’ letters are reflections and questions about the state of Newling’s relationship with Nature. Can one partner really make amends for such unreasonable behaviour? Can an irretrievable breakdown be avoided? What is the postal address for Nature anyway? All will be revealed as Newling constructs these letters as hand written, embroidered and printed texts.

John Newling Net 15
Soil Lab - John Newling