Beyond Boundaries

Sabr Dri Photography, The Deer on the Road, 2016. Photograph. Courtesy the artist, YSP and ArtRole

I travelled up to Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the first nice day of 2017, to review Beyond Boundaries: Art By Email, an exhibition that focused on how border controls exert limits on creativity. These restrictions helped to frame the boundaries of the exhibition itself, which invited work only from artists who would find travel to the UK prohibitively difficult. 

It is in the digital realm, in the dissolution of territory and nation, where art and ideas are made free. This, at least, is the philosophy at the source of Beyond Boundaries: Art By Email, a collaboration between Yorkshire Sculpture Park and ArtRole that brings art from the Middle East to the North of England. Initially conceived as a more conventional on-site exhibition, the curators were forced to review in order to circumvent the border restrictions experienced by artists who attempt to travel from the Middle East region to the UK in order to show work. An open call invited submissions that could be transmitted by email, from artists who would find travel to the UK prohibitively difficult. The outcomes are more interesting than might originally have resulted from a more general commission, as questions are posed about the function and efficacy of border procedures and the limits of creativity.

You can read the full review here.