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Life through a lens…….

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Published on 13 May 2018

John Kippin ‘Untitled’ from the Romanitas exhibtion
John Kippin ‘Untitled’ from the Romanitas exhibtion

An artist and Emeritus Professor at the University of Sunderland is preparing for two new exhibitions at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

 John Kippin’s work is already housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Council Collection.

 The artist has also exhibited works at venues from the BALTIC in Gateshead to the Imperial War Museum in London.

 Today he is Emeritus Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland and chair of the visual arts organisation Locus.

 Now, two new exhibitions by the artist will be taking place this year at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art at the National Glass Centre.


19 May to 24 June: Romanitas

 In Romanitas, Kippin reflects on the state of contemporary politics. He dwells on the image of the future built by a far-right nationalist regime.

 In Kippin’s work we see daily life portrayed in weird, palatial environments fit for a dictator.

 Romanitas also includes a brand new ‘sound work’ – no pictures or video – the first the artist has revealed in public. It was created in Rome and recorded in the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican.

 The piece captures the tourist experience of the city, and the promise of being surrounded by ‘great art’ also means being shepherded through endless corridors at speed, with thousands of others.


 28 June to 23 September: John Kippin: Based on a True Story Works 1984-2018

 Based on a True Story examines 40 years of making art by John Kippin.

 Kippin has been a central figure in the emergence of photography as an independent art form in the UK from the 1970s and 80s through to present day.

 Nine contributors select work from Kippin’s 40-year archive to provide new insights into the way he sees the world through a lens.

 Kippin’s work has contributed to debates about the nature of post-industrial landscapes, national and regional identity and the power of the state to reshape the world.

 The exhibition includes 20 new monumental prints of work originally shot across four decades that reveal the state of the nation over the artist’s lifetime.

 Kippin has consistently asked: ‘What have we become?’ What can we see of ourselves, as a society? And what still remains hidden?

 The new Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art reopened in March 2018 at the National Glass Centre, part of the University of Sunderland