This July, Bow Arts will welcome Stephen Turner and his famous Exbury Egg to their new Thamesmead site, the Lakeside Centre, as part of a partnership project with Fondazione Bevilacqua la Massa in Venice for this year’s Biennale.
Turner’s Exbury Egg – as featured on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces – was originally built in 2013 as a floating home to be situated on the Beaulieu River on the Exbury Estate, in which the artist would “live off the land” for a year. Turner, whose practice explores society’s increasingly dissonant relationship with nature, has since toured the Egg across the country, opening it to the public as an emblematic platform to inspire waterside communities to explore and reconnect with their local environments. The Egg’s mooring at Southemere Lake, Thamesmead will be her longest installation since Exbury. Its installation will form part of the launch of Bow Arts’ new Lakeside Centre, where Turner will be artist in residence across the summer.
Turner’s retrospective exhibition Natura Prima? at Fondazione Bevilacqua la Massa opens with the 58th Venice Biennale, and launches his two twinned residencies in Giudecca, Venice – one of the last traditional Venetian communities – and Thamesmead, London. Turner will compare these two seemingly vastly different waterside communities, who in unique ways have both pitted human invention and ingenuity against incursion by the sea to sustain the presence of people. As the ‘Eggman’, the persona Turner has used throughout his Exbury Egg project, he will work with communities to reexamine their environments, exploring the impact and relationship between humans and nature.