Laura Denning
Laura Denning

Laura Denning is an artist based in the South West, UK, who works across a range of media and art-forms, including film, sound, participatory performance and curation. Laura uses speculative enquiry to explore environmental concerns and she has exhibited across the UK and internationally. She recently received an outstanding achievement award in four categories at the Tagore International Film festival. The short film The Underside of Time presented here considers the present as a future archaeological past. The work draws upon a recent collaboration with a paleo-archaeologist, to consider ‘change’ within massive time scales. In doing so, our current emergencies are folded into different perspectives – ones which paradoxically mark the present moment as the most crucial moment of all.

The Underside of Time

This 5-minute digital film is an evocation of the present as a future archaeological past. Only traces of human remain, in a landscape where geology, hydrology and meteorology prevail. Rocks, water and weather dominate a lush environment where previously overlooked species abound – snails and spiders in particular. Viewers are invited on a journey through time and across space, to ponder the legacy of their current actions, and to imagine the world once they have gone.

Laura Denning Still from Manual for Nomads 2020

Laura Denning was commissioned as part of The Arts Institute Covid-19 art fund, launched in June 2020, which invited artists to respond to the provocation ‘Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Change is coming’. The series features five different art-forms and supports artists working in the South West, UK. Laura Denning was selected to represent the Film category.