Caught by the River

Entanglements of Time and Tide

24th August 2021

Sonia Mehra Chawla, from the serie, ‘The Afterlives: Ruins in Reverse’. Lithographs, archival paper, Image courtesy of the artist

Edinburgh Printmakers have launched their new exhibition Entanglements of Time and Tide by Indian artist and researcher Sonia Mehra Chawla, exploring entanglements of ecology industry, culture, politics and aesthetics.

Mehra Chawla’s artistic practice explores notions of selfhood, nature, ecology, sustainability and conservation. For Entanglements of Time and Tide she spent two years on three intensive residencies at the Marine Scotland Laboratory in Aberdeen, the ASCUS Laboratory at Summerhall and Edinburgh Printmakers. The result is an all-encompassing exhibition featuring new commissions in print, video, living artworks of micro-biological organisms and representations of historical scientific material. 

Commissioned as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 programme, Entanglements of Time and Tide explores how we can make our future more liveable. Reflecting on the human impact on our environment, and in particular effects on micro-organisms by capital-intensive heavy industry and anthropogenic activities, the exhibition is in two parts. Part I looks at the mysterious and enigmatic life of planktons providing several entry points to understanding larger global issues associated with the world’s oceans. Part II explores the impact of technological obsolescence, the drive to consumption and the impacts of the waste created by these technofossils.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition opening Sonia Mehra Chawla said:“Polluted, overfished, abused and threatened by extractive forces, the largest living space on Earth is rapidly declining. Human-induced environmental change threatens multi-species endurance, livability and continuity. We are all interconnected by shared ecologies and entanglements with our other than human kin makes life probable. Can humans and other species continue to inhabit the earth together in collaboration?

We live in a time of many urgencies and I feel we require cross disciplinary curiosity of what constitutes life on this planet and what our place is in this universe. This exhibition has been created to act as a starting point for these conversations between artists and scientists, those in industry and the wider community.” 

Entanglements of Time and Tide is available to view online and in-person at Edinburgh Printmakers until 4 November. More information is available here.