Free major art installation opens at centre:mk - Destination Milton Keynes
Free major art installation opens at centre:mk

Free major art installation opens at centre:mk

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival and headline partner centre:mk have collaborated to commission a FREE major immersive art installation at the centre this summer. Working with two artists across different disciplines, artist Rebecca Louise Law and sound artist Jason Singh have created The Place Between, an extraordinary installation for centre:mk’s Middleton Hall which opens on 14 July and run through to 30 July.

centre:mk has been the headline partner of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival since 2016. Together, they have presented and co-commissioned work that raises awareness of and deepens the public’s engagement with the environment, positioning centre:mk as a catalyst for creativity and a nature-positive location dedicated to developing healthier, happier and diverse communities with a strong sense of place.

The secret life of plants and flowers is revealed in The Place Between, intended to become an immersive space of contemplation for people to think about our environment, our living green planet and how our future will be dictated by our actions.

The Place Between installation

Rebecca Louise Law is known for creating huge artworks with natural materials and her work has been seen worldwide. In order to make this colossal new work, Law invited groups and individuals to forage, grow and donate items of plant material, such as flowers, shells, seeds, cones and grasses. Over 50,000 donations were received and added to Law’s personal collection of over 200,000 items. Working with local artists, volunteers and community groups, each individual item was hand-wired or sewn by a team of locally based artists, volunteers and members of the public during weeks of workshops in community settings at centre:mk. The Place Between consists of over 8-metre strands that are suspended to create the huge, immersive hanging garden for visitors to navigate their way through.

The installation explores the connection we have to our Earth, the connection we have to each other and our contribution to the cycle of life.

Rebecca Louise Law said: “Our relationship with the Earth is essential for our survival. Everyone is connected and we all contribute to the cycle of life. I wanted to build an installation that enables us to value those connections. It’s an exploration of the space between, the place where we connect to each other and nature.”

Immersive Soundscapes by Jason Singh

The Place Between features immersive soundscapes commissioned from Jason Singh who captured the biodata from plants – including some of the iconic 40-year-old planting in centre:mk itself – and transforms them into sound.  Singh’s music has been called ‘beautiful, strange, calming’ by nature writer Robert Macfarlane.

The planting in centre:mk is as iconic as the centre itself, with a spectacular display of plants, shrubs and trees from all over the world and over 8,000 new plants being added to the scheme this year. The brilliance and variety of flowers, foliage, shapes and textures create an all year round display and unique experience for visitors.

Jason Singh said, “The Place Between gives me an incredible opportunity to connect with the people and nature of Milton Keynes, working with different communities and organisations to find out more about their relationships with their environment and what nature means to them. I have created immersive headphone experiences – soundscapes and music generated entirely by trees and plants.”

Kevin Duffy, Director of centre:mk, commented: “This wonderful commission reflects how we can use our centre to create meaningful connections with both nature and the wider community. It illustrates how a highly successful retail destination like centre:mk can have a role to play in delivering unique experiences which challenge what we expect of our immediate environment. We want to democratise cultural experiences and make sure people see that art and culture is truly for everyone, placing these installations in unexpected places outside of gallery walls.”

Whilst The Place Between opens to the public earlier, the wider IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2023 runs from 21 to 30 July. The programme includes major commissions and UK premieres, and animates unusual places and spaces in Milton Keynes and beyond, creating new stories and memories for one of the country’s newest cities.

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