ExLab was a ground-breaking arts programme along the Jurassic Coast, where earth scientists and artists collaborated to reveal hidden landscapes through the lenses of art, geology and technology. ExLab offered a series of research-based commissions for artists which led to the creation of fascinating new temporary artworks developed in response to the geology of the Jurassic Coast.
The ExLab artists investigated the coastal processes using geo-mapping and cutting-edge land-scanning technologies, making the invisible visible. Artists Simon Callery, Mat Chivers, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, Simon Ryder and creative studio Proboscis, were selected from over 200 submissions to work with scientists to reveal new narratives about the places, the people and the landscape of Dorset. Five wild and beautiful coastline locations were re-interpreted by scientists and artists and presented in buildings, open-air locations and galleries across Dorset. A living laboratory of science-inspired art experiences offered visitors vivid moments of insight and wonder.
Initiated in 2010, ExLab was delivered by Big Picture, a collaboration of seven visual arts organisations in Dorset including Artsreach, working closely with Dorset County Council, The National Trust and Creative Coast. Following an 8-month research period, the works were installed at seven locations including an isolate barn, a busy beach, a coastal folly and a coastguard station across Dorset between the 27th July and 9th September 2012, running parallel to the Olympic events in Dorset.