Post­Na­tures, curat­ed by artist Vic­to­ria Lucas, is cen­tred around JMW Turner’s paint­ing The Fes­ti­val of the Vin­tage, Mâcon.

Post­Na­tures sees Lucas draw on the con­struct­ed com­po­si­tion of Turner’s paint­ing to high­light how imag­i­nary sub­jects can affect our indi­vid­ual or cul­tur­al per­cep­tions of real­i­ty. The exhi­bi­tion fea­tures a range of art­works and objects from Sheffield’s col­lec­tions which depict oth­er rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the rela­tion­ship between women and nature, along­side recent works from Vic­to­ria Lucas and the Heavy Water Col­lec­tive. Togeth­er, they invite us to rethink and fur­ther explore ideas of the fem­i­nine in nature. 

The exhi­bi­tion is gen­er­ous­ly sup­port­ed by the Amper­sand Foundation.


In this exhi­bi­tion, the Heavy Water Col­lec­tive present images and objects that respond to two very dif­fer­ent archives — The Spe­cial Col­lec­tions at Cardiff Uni­ver­si­ty and The Sheffield Gen­er­al Ceme­tery site in Shar­row — where they under­took research res­i­den­cies in 2022

Rep­re­sen­ta­tions of land­scapes cor­re­late with tail eat­ing snakes, female repro­duc­tive organs, plant mat­ter, rit­u­al objects and strange human forms. Myth and sym­bol­ism bleed into and out of the mate­ri­al­i­ty of each object, cre­at­ing a con­stel­la­tion of flu­id and mys­ti­cal associations. 

Along­side the dis­play case, a print­ed schema draws togeth­er asso­ci­a­tions through frag­men­tary ref­er­ence points. This can be found at the bot­tom of this page. 

The objects and images in Heavy Water Collective’s vit­rine over­lap with each oth­er. Things made from ceram­ics, soap, car­bon, wax, oil and knot­ted rope lie atop found, repro­duced and dig­i­tal­ly edit­ed images on paper and card. Some are print­ed on mat­te pho­to paper where­as oth­ers are tiny oil paint­ings, and while not quite scat­tered, they are not arranged tax­o­nom­i­cal­ly but instead seem­ing­ly through a process of knolling.”

- Lau­ren Velvick