Exhibitions at GroundWork stimulate discussion and greater knowledge between artists, creators, community leaders, scientists, campaigners, and local people. We host regular events in the gallery to explore the themes of our exhibitions.  Make sure to sign up to our mailings via our contact page here to be the first to know about events at GroundWork.

Water Rising - art innovation change and development.

A day-long study day/conference

At Thoresby College

May 17 2019

10.30 - 6.

Price £26.50 including lunch.


Bookings: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/water-rising-art-innovation-change-and-development-tickets-59087414046

Water Rising community engagement events are supported by Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear Campaign.


Previous event this season

What Language Do You Speak?

The documentary film "What Language Do You Speak?" shows the universal nature of identity defined by language. 

Thursday March 14, 4 - 6.

Brazil - 2017, 65 min Director: Elisa Bracher

Main Language Portuguese, English sub-titles. The film includes interviews or fragments also in English, Somali and many other languages.

About Elisa Bracher:

A native of São Paulo, Elisa Bracher graduated in Fine Arts from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP) and specialized in metal engraving with Evandro Carlos Jardim and Cláudio Mubarac. In 1997, she founded Instituto Acaia, a nongovernmental organization which welcomes children and teenagers from communities surrounding her studio, in West Side of São Paulo, for workshops and courses. Works of hers are in public spaces in Brazil, England and Germany, as well as in various public and private art collections. She is a multimedia artist and works with different languages, as wood and metal engravings; drawings; sculptures and photograpy.

At that time people didn’t understand us. Kids would laugh at you in class, if you said the wrong thing, or if you spoke differently. Because of that there was no other option than to stay quiet. And you had to try hard, try hard to be invisible
— A girl from Somalia, migrated to UK


Previous events 2018

Meet the Artists, 6 December, 6 - 8.30pm

This event was organised by work-experience students from College of West Anglia.


Friday 30 November

In King's Lynn, Thoresby College and GroundWork Gallery

Thoresby College, Queen St. home of the King's Lynn Preservation Trust

Professor Colin Waters


Bergit Arends


Tim Holt-Wilson

Flora Bowden

Wayne Binitie

Luce Choules


Water Rising - art innovation change and development.

A day-long study day/conference

Globally and locally we face a changing relationship with water. We know that sea level rise is accelerating, predicted to gain steadily by up to a metre over the 21st century, enough for example, for London to become submerged.  Science and technical know-how is being crucially engaged and architects, engineers, planners and environment agencies are busy forming strategies to mitigate its dangers and come up with creative solutions. 

However, as many recognise, these developments need to be accompanied by cultural change and adaptation to new sustainable patterns of life. Interpretations by artists are are part of the formation of new cultural responses. Being acute observers of change, many are thinking creatively about direct encounters with water, proposing images about experiences, raising questions about its beauty and power. 

As the need for greater understanding of water’s future becomes more urgent, we need to bring together multiple perspectives to make new propositions about the resourcefulness we need as we form new and different attitudes to it.  Without this the watery surges of climate change will still defeat us.

The conference-study day will bring together perspectives from art, science, geography, engineering, architecture, cultural development.   The idea is to stimulate discussion, and for participants and audience to contribute to the richer dialogues that will result

Speakers include:

Clive Adams, Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World on the recently UNESCO accredited world network of water museums, 

Richard Coutts, BACA architects, on architecture for watery environments; 

Jack Heslop WSP Group, on rising water problems and creative engineering solutions; 

Prof Lindsey McEwen, Centre for Floods and Community Resilience, University of Bristol ,on the flood-drought continuum, especially in the Fens;

Jaap van der Salm, H+N+S Landscape Architects, on flood resilience, safety and water management projects in Netherlands and beyond;

Matt Minshall, consultant, on water diversity and security globally;

Peter Matthews, artist & exhibitor, on living in and with the oceans to make art;

Roger Coulam, artist-phtographer & exhibitor, on storm chasing;

Sophie Marritt, artist & exhibitor on watery painting the fens;

Emma Critchley, artist, on her Earth-Water-Sky project in Venice & artists working under-water generally.

At Thoresby College

May 17 2019

10.30 - 6.

Price £26.50 including lunch.

Bookings: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/water-rising-art-innovation-change-and-development-tickets-59087414046

Previous event this season - contact mail@groundworkgallery for more informationJaap van der Salm, H+N+S Landscape Architects on flood resilience, safety and water management projects in Netherlands and beyond;

Shot in Brazil and England, the film addresses the great migratory movement in the world today, with millions of people fleeing from wars, natural disasters or social circumstances that hinder their survival. Facing many risks to reach the places they think are habitable, or even where they have been sent by international aid programs, people try to overcome traumas and sorrows to start over. This way, children and adults who have had to adapt to an environment where their own language is not understandable, tell about their experiences in Brazil, Britain and India. Each experience is unique, but learning the language appears to be the key to being treated as an equal. 


Some 2018 events (see further re Previous Events)

Stewart Hearn Barbara HoweyKathryn HearnLaura HustonKabir HussainPearce Marchbank Madeleine Spencer copy.jpg

Friday 30 November 11.00 - 5.00 pm

Theories of the Earth

30 November 2018   Thoresby College, Queen St & South Quay King’s Lynn  10.30 - .4.30  

A Study Day - interactions between history, science and artistic practice

What are theories of the earth? What do all the terms mean? Is theory useful? What is relationship between theory and practice?  A number of experts involved in disciplines relevant to Theories of the Earth - art, science  and environment -  will talk to us about theory - and how it relates to practice.

10.30 -  Arrival, registration, coffee - welcome by Veronica Sekules & team. Moderator Andrew Watkinson

Session 1 Anthropocene and contemporary art. 10.45 - 11.30

Prof. Colin Waters, University of Leicester and former principal geologist, British Geological Survey 

The Anthropocene Epoch: the expression of the human footprint on the Earth

Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth and it has been proposed that this warrants recognition as a new geological time unit – the Anthropocene Epoch. Evidence includes the appearance and rapid dispersal of many new materials, including metals, plastics, concrete and artificial radionuclides from the atmospheric testing of nuclear devices. Combustion of fossil fuels has led to a global trace of fly ash and has changed the chemistry of the atmosphere, resulting in increasing global temperatures and sea levels.  Biological evidence includes the consequences of extinctions, unprecedented movement of animal and plant species and increasing abundance of domesticated species.  Human influence on geological signals commenced many thousands of years ago. However, the most pronounced upturn in most global trends is in the mid-20th century, a time referred by some as the ‘Great Acceleration’.  Though concentrating on the scientific evidence, the presentation also includes examples in which the arts community is contributing to the debate.

11.30 - 12.15

Bergit Arends. Deputy Head of Collection Care Research, Tate

Art Intertwining Geology and humans

I'll talk about a social-documentary project on brown coal mining by a Vietnamese photographer in 1970s GDR - Intertwining the geologic and humans.  The Anthropocene is proposed as the most recent geologic time unit, in which human activity has changed the Earth more than natural processes. The proposition is a forceful concept that has ignited widespread debates and has inspired artists to conceptualise and visualise the consequences of this knowledge.

The Anthropocene term urges us to consider the profound human influence on the planet, which will leave its legacy for millennia. How are artists responding? Artists’ works provide critical commentary on state environmental politics; make public scientific procedures of decontextualization and abstraction; and evolve new forms of observation through interdisciplinary intersections. Notably, they express the human distress felt by transformation of landscapes through drought, large-scale mining or climate change.

My talk will focus on the photographic book by Nguyen the Thuc Kohle unter Magdeborn [Coal underneath Magdeborn] (ca. 1976), which documents the environmental and social impact of open-cast brown-coal mining on a local community in the German Democratic Republic in the 1970s, reflecting the effects of the ‘oil crisis’. The project was shown in the archival exhibition Freundschaftsantiqua [Friendship antiqua] (2014) in Leipzig, together with new photographs of the former mining area by Christiane Eisler.

12.15 - 12.45 discussion

12.45 - 1.30 Lunch

Session 2 After James Hutton:  Historical theory and artistic practice.

1.30  - 2.15

Tim Holt-Wilson, Geologist, writer,

Enlightening the Earth

James Hutton radically applied Enlightenment thinking to the Earth as object of enquiry. How does Hutton’s approach fit into the current of scientific investigation of natural and cultural phenomena which characterised the 18th century Enlightenment? My answer will include a consideration of the John Frere’s celebrated paper (1797) on Hoxne brick pits in Suffolk, which provided a revolutionary evaluation of the great antiquity of human kind.

2.15 - 2.45

Flora Bowden, artist, RCA

Visual Language and Geology

In this presentation I will talk about the visual language of early geological studies. In particular I will talk about the iconography of James Hutton's Theory of the Earth and how this has been developed through my practice

2.45 - 3.00 discussion

Session 3: Glacial Water

3.00 - 3.30

Wayne Binitie, Artist, RCA

Aesthetics of Water

Wayne Binitie’s ongoing research Aesthetics of Water explores the urgent and ethical stewardship of glacial water at a time of accelerating climate change. Binitie’s project aims to examine how contemporary art practice reveals and communicates the urgency of climate change to new audiences.  

Anchored by his own audio-visual fieldwork at the British Antarctic Survey ice core archive and the pioneering Arup SoundLab, Binitie's multidisciplinary artistic work in sculpture, glass and sound explores the significance of glacial water across its three states of solid, liquid and vapour.

3.30 - 4.15

Luce Choules, International Artist

The Glacier and the Rock  - Guide74 performance lecture

Luce Choules presents a live performance lecture using spoken word, projected imagery and literary readings. The artist will take the audience on a poetic journey to the high features of Alpine France. Made during a decade-long study in the Haute-Savoie, this mesmerising work explores art and ecology, environmental change and the contemporary wilderness.

4.15 - 4.30  Concluding discussion & summing up Andrew Watkinson

4.30 onwards gallery open for viewing