Baltic is part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary.
We've invited Michael Rakowitz to develop a major new commission in response to the idea of conflict to be presented in the Level 4 gallery. The artist has proposed to create a sprawling, immersive interior forest of trees, hedges, herbs, and medicinal plants that will be conceived and tended to in collaboration with local organisations.
The project is imagined as a “Hanging Garden”, referencing the one in Babylon that is considered among the Seven Wonders of the World. The garden will be inhabited by Rakowitz’s cardboard sculptures that attempt to reappear the archaeological cultural heritage that has been looted or destroyed in Iraq and Syria since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
From the ‘seeds’ of this hanging garden we’ll host events, workshops, grow plants and create tinctures, recipes, and poultices both onsite and offsite that promote healing and recovery for the mind and body. The garden, at the end of the exhibition, will sprawl into the city in small parts to a network of community and school gardens, expanding its footprint beyond Baltic.
IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund: The IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund is a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with Imperial War Museums (IWM) and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary.
To mark the end of the First World War centenary, Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW worked together to co-commission the critically acclaimed film They Shall Not Grow Old by Academy Award winner Peter Jackson, which was seen by nearly 5 million people globally. Following the unprecedented success of the film, 14-18 NOW and IWM agreed that a share of the film’s royalties would be used to support a new programme of artist commissions, the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund. A total of £2.5 million is being made available to artists and cultural organisations across the UK.
Through the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, IWM is now working in partnership with 20 cultural organisations from across the UK to commission 22 ambitious new artworks inspired by the heritage of conflict.