Exhibition 37 – Mike Sprout

EXHIBITION 37 is by Mike Sprout from Hull. It is titled: This place in fourteen flags. The Notice Board was interested in how Mike would interprete its ongoing theme – The Land of the Free?. His response is 14 works that will be changed every 2 days. We see them as a manifesto that encourages us to trust ourselves and our abilities to cope, hope and create – to live free? Mike says: These images represent elements in my journey as I learn to love the land I call home, the people I call community and myself.
Loving reality, Understanding difficulty, discovering deeply,  finding true integrity…
The following list offers us titles and detailed description of each work.

  1. Egg. Egg, cosmos, beginning, all. Take a broad view, a god’s eye view
  2. Plant. Breath of the world, support of all life and converter of all sun energy. World-tree-trunk, our part of the cosmos, here amongst the foliage.
  3. Animal. Within this pink human flesh body, an ancient ape, an animal, raging     emotions inherited from billions of years of being an animal. The evolutionary miracle of my feelings and impulses
  4. Friends. Circle of people, humans, gift economy, talking and listening. Miracle of community, mutual support, empathy
  5. Disaster. Change, mystery, trouble. Eventually all things explode, all things turn to ash!
  6. Magpie. Black and white in conflict, conversation, meeting, joining, interlocking. Opposites depend on one another. Opposites meet loudly, beautifully. This is where new things are born, a new whole containing both poles
  7. Growth. I grow beyond my borders, as I expand I see I contain multitudes! I am a container for so many emotions, memories, experiences. I am a world-self, a whole community. I have a golden being living and growing within me, I’m like a mother, like a planet. 
  8. Manifesto. Revolution, conscience, stoic solidity standing on the pulsing earth. Strength within good decisions
  9. Care. Hugging myself, self-care, The inner feeling of love, if I can’t love myself how can I love anybody else? Quiet moments to notice, heal and cherish. 
  10. Rising. Emergence from below, a rising truth. Let the land and its secrets help shape the future. Our collective history, collective trauma is welcomed back from the shadows, into the air
  11. Action. Action radiates out of me now in every direction! Cycles, patterns, recurrence, change. What movements and shiftings are we a part of? How are we connected to each other’s efforts and struggles? Communal action, commoning, how can we work together? 
  12. Snake. Guts, cthonic, snake, abdominal-earth-power. I have the blessing of the nether-regions
  13. Tiger. Confidence, King, Apollo, Lugh, Grace. I move like a tiger, ruling the world. So often we are sorry excuses for humans, let’s shed shame and roam our jungles like we own the place, walking in harmony with our environment, unafraid of our instincts…
  14. Bird. Essence, passion, identity, calling, inspiration. There is a soul bird within me, that wants to soar. I glide, my whole being knows the way.

Mike Sprout is an artist specialising in murals, zines, wood-carving, painting, drawing, risograph printing and community arts. He’s also a founding member of Ground, a community arts centre on Beverley Road in Hull. @mikesprout on Instagram