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‘Stepping Softly on the Earth’

This exhibition brings together work by twenty artists from around the world, intending to prompt reflection on how humans interact with the natural world.

Two installations particularly stood out to me.

This is Kaal (Time), a 2023 work by Kamruzzaman Shadhin and the Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts, which Shadhin founded. It’s a striking collection of seven hand-woven jute sculptures on aluminium frames. They are captured performing Bishahari Pala, a folk theatre work.

The work effectively combines a representation of the land and the people it sustains. There is something quite endearing about the characters; they look like they must have taken many hours to weave.

This is part of a dynamic water installation called Templo del agua, río Tyne by Leonel Vásquez of Colombia. Drops of purified water from the River Tyne fell through the complicated apparatus and created musical notes, which were both audible and physically sensed through the vibration of the benches.

Rocks from the Tyne hung around the space, which Vásquez describes as a ‘temple’.

Despite being in the middle of a crowded gallery of works, the combination of water and acoustics made this space feel quasi-religious or meditative. It was a quite captivating piece.

Stepping Softly on the Earth continues at Baltic until 14 April.

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