artist, material forager & designer
Hypermaterial was the name of the first solo exhibition by Ben Hartley, held at D-Unit Gallery in Bristol in May 2022. The exhibition featured a new body of sculptural and assemblage work, alongside a performance made in collaboration with London based performance artist, Angel Dust, and a costume by Carter Valentine.
Influenced by the concept of Hyperobjects introduced by Timothy Morton, Hypermaterial explores the aesthetics and use of discarded and waste materials of the anthropocene through the lens of speculative fiction. Imagining a post-apocalyptic future where, following catastrophic climate change, entrenched cultural attitudes towards materiality and consumption have drastically changed, largely as a result of inherited trauma from cataclysmic weather events. As a result, no new products or materials are produced, humanity instead scavenges the material remains of the old world. The body of work shown in this exhibition posits how artistic production would exist within this imagined society that sifts through the heaped remnants of the old world, and using the materials that could not be utilised for practical purposes to produce these decorative objects and ceremonial artefacts.
Hypermaterial was made possible by a Research & Development Bursary from the West of England Visual Arts Alliance.