Our Time on Earth in The Curve at the Barbican is an extraordinary and beautifully curated show with a real mission to focus in on where we are now and where we need to be in relation to our use of and how we work with our planet. Guest Curators Caroline Till and Kate Franklin, authors of the wonderful book Radical Matter, have created a holistic and thought provoking show where the fabric of the exhibition is as important as the exhibits themselves. Margent Farm corrugated panels manufactured by Cecence and our ecocence range of natural, warm umber and burnt umber hemp fibre bio resin veneers are used throughout the show to house a number of the exhibits to great effect, their depth and richness of colour and patina demonstrating there is an alternative to more conventional materials used in exhibition environments.

Three different shades of ecocence hemp veneers were manufactured and fabricated by Cecence to house air, water and soil samples taken from the Barbican Estate in April 2022.

The White Wall Company have constructed a Tardis like central area which uses the hemp corrugations horizontally to form a large semi circular skirt and frames the space for Territorial Agency‘s stunning ‘2040 – Sensible Zone’.

Placed vertically the hemp corrugated panels act as a backdrop to the display of costumes by Anne Crabtree for Planet City by Liam Young.

Other design materials and elements work elegantly alongside the richness of the hemp materials with most of the signage on clay plaster boards printed with algae ink.

Till gave an impassioned speech at Wednesday evening’s private view thanking her fellow collaborators and talking of the importance of cultivating networks of artists, architects, designers, engineers and makers in enabling a mycelium like network of work to be created. She ended by highlighting that innovation was driven by collaboration, a philosophy that Cecence has always adopted to good effect.

The reception for the artists, makers and contributors was held fittingly in the Barbican’s Conservatory its brutalist concrete walls covered in 1,500 species of temperate plants offering a vision of hope and demonstrating nature’s ability to be transformative. The evening’s drinks were supplied by a carbon neutral champagne house and the food provided was a tasty selection of beetroot and bean burgers produced by the Barbican’s own kitchen. Artistic Director Will Gompertz gave a warm and welcoming speech celebrating the diversity of work at the centre which in its scheduling does not focus in on one unifying theme enabling the spectator to make their own connections between the various forms of work on display. It was also an evening to celebrate the appointment of the Barbican’s first ever CEO Claire Spencer who is ‘largely credited with changing the course of Arts Centre Melbourne’. A chartered accountant with a Masters in Theology, Spencer helped enable Australia’s largest performing arts venue to become financially and organisationally stable. In the words of Bob Dylan: ‘The Times They Are a-Changing’.