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Uma Breakdown​
Earth A.D.
24 September to 11 December
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 5pm (and by appointment*)
Launch event: Saturday 24 September, 4–6pm Video introduction from the artist, 5.30pm

For more information about the launch event, and to book tickets, please click here.

I sing softly to myself, unconcerned with either my uncertainty of the lyrics, or my ability to hold the tune. The paddle dips into the water on one side of the canoe and then the other, a rhythm that I sing to, mostly. Above, if I were to look up, the sky is oppressive. It has more in common with visual artefacts in video reproduction or from eyes under stress than something with genuine depth. I dreamt once of a huge eye following me. The eye was so large that I could barely make out its curve. To the untrained, it may have appeared just as a black sky, but I was all too aware that it was a huge pupil, with the iris beginning just at the horizon if only the mountains did not obscure this. That dream stayed with me, and then I pushed it down with my work, and now, now it surfaces in my memory once again, and so I try not to look at this sky above my rhythmic paddling in case I summon that dream to come to be the next night, when I must lie in the bottom of my canoe, the sky feeling as if it begins only inches from my face. ~ Earth A.D. Archive text.

We are thrilled to invite you to Earth A.D., the first solo exhibition from artist Uma Breakdown. This new body of work draws on the artist’s research into the structures and historical context of Gothic narratives, and their creative relationships to time, space, identity and social relations.

The project consists of video games, objects, and an installation. An immersive installation in the gallery made from muslin, concrete rebar, bioresin and lino prints presents coffin-like structures, a hanging coracle alongside a holographic projection and new drawings from the artist. The immersive Earth A.D. game will be playable online on WysingBroadcasts.Art, while a lo-fi "demake" game is playable in the gallery.

Commissioned in partnership with FACT, Liverpool and QUAD, Derby, Earth A.D. will launch as an installation in Wysing’s gallery in September and a game on WysingBroadcasts.Art later in the autumn, before evolving and touring to FACT in Summer 2023 and QUAD in Summer 2024.

Earth A.D. explores the Gothic genre’s relation to deep time, real and imagined versions of England, industrial capitalism, guilt, shame, queerness, and the Gothic’s entangled relationships with the evolution of science fiction, horror and the computer.

That’s one description. Another is that it’s a science fiction story about trans* solidarity and care across time and space, which is repeatedly told, distorted, translated, lost, and reinvented.

Yet another is that it's a room full of coffin technology and holograms, and a video game about the dreams of a sleeping cyborg girl.

Earth A.D. is commissioned by Wysing Arts Centre, FACT and QUAD with public funding from Arts Council England.

Fabrication and Technical Production: Loukas Morley, Lyndsay Officer, Chloe Page, Lottie Poulet, Jack Wilson
Wysing Exhibition curated by John Eng Kiet Bloomfield

Covid Safety

We kindly ask guests to test before travelling to Wysing and not to attend if you test positive or display symptoms.

Our team will be wearing masks and we ask you to continue wearing masks indoors, unless you are exempt.

Sanitiser points and spare masks are available around the site.

Toilets will be available in our buildings with antibacterial wipes and spray.

Access Information

We want as many people as possible to be able to access and enjoy this exhibition.  

The exhibition includes: 

  • Six short looping videos on screens, projections and holographic fans. 
  • Six coffin sculptures with smaller sculptures and drawings. 
  • A perspex screen with drawings and notes. 
  • A simple text-based video game, playable on a controller. The game has a repetitive lof-fi electronic soundtrack 

Adjustments include: 

  • An audio description of the exhibition, recorded by the artist Uma Breakdown is available on headphones. You can find this in the corridor on the way into the gallery.  
  •  The gallery is wheelchair accessible. A hand-drawn map by the artist Uma Breakdown shows a wheelchair accessible route through the gallery. 
  •  There is no seating in the gallery, but folding stools are available in reception. 
  •  The bathroom nearest the carpark is accessible.  
  •  A calm decompression space is available onsite in the building opposite reception.  

By default, the gallery is dark.  

Please ask at Reception if you would like help with any of the following: 

 • Adjustment to the lighting  
• Guidance into the gallery  

If you have any questions or feedback about the accessibility of the exhibition, please ask at Reception and we will be happy to help. 
 

Biographies

Uma Breakdown

Hi I’m Uma, an artist interested in animals, horror, queer feminist literature, and games design. Everything I make is about some combination of love, grief, hallucination, and an excess of joy. In 2020 I finished a PhD​ about The Evil Dead, care, trans* écriture feminine, and disaster. With Sammy Paloma I make video games about the divine and occult providence of transfemme existence. I live in Gateshead, UK.

Recent projects include “The Speculative Dismemberment of Agent Leon Kennedy” for Market Gallery (Glasgow, 2022), “Take The Moonlight by The Tail” for Arebyte Gallery (London, 2021), and “Wastework” for TEXTUR (Berlin, 2021).

Imminent things include group shows “Practicing Futures While Grieving in Eight Movements” at Klosterruine (Berlin, 2022) and “Hinterlands” at Baltic (Gateshead, 2022).