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Project Space

Delicate Destructions

27 June – 27 July 2014

Preview: 26 June 2014 / 6 - 9pm / All welcome


Themes of falling and destruction in MK Gallery’s summer exhibition Cadences, and found in particular in the work of British artist Catherine Yass, have provided the inspiration for the work in MK Gallery’s Project Space this July. The Delicate Destructions exhibition brings together the collective and individual creative responses of a group of twenty-one young people ages 16-17 who participated in two series of workshops inspired by Cadences earlier this year. 

In the first workshop series, led by Catherine Yass and Bill Thompson at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, the group considered Yass’s work and that of other artists who have explored the notion of ‘creative destruction’ within their practice, such as Christian Marclay, Niki de St Phalle and Robert Smithson. Each participant brought an object to the workshop that they had selected to be destroyed. These objects were dropped from a height and the sound of the impact and the final destruction of their objects were recorded. The day’s recordings were compiled into a sound archive from which they were able to produce audio compositions, blending together sounds of smashing china, clattering plastic and the thud of a broken computer console. The outcome is a series of eight collaborative sound works, which will run on a continuous loop in the Project Space.

In a second series of four workshops six months later led by artist Thom Rees, these sound works were used as a creative stimulus for a group of Milton Keynes based young people. During their workshop sessions the group explored falling and the art of destruction and in particular the work of artists such as Cornelia Parker, Michael Landy and Melanie Smith. With a particular focus on the work of Catherine Yass and the meaning of the term Cadences, each participant then selected one sound piece to work with. The resulting visual representations and physical responses to their chosen pieces include the curious creative mix of delicate falling blossom, smashing glass and a bottomless black hole.

Victoria Mayes, MK Gallery’s Informal Learning Manager commented:
This project has given a group of young people a fantastic opportunity to work directly alongside professional artists, and also to work collaboratively, exploring new ideas and challenging themselves and their personal approaches to contemporary art along the way.  We hope to have inspired some of them go on and discover new ways of creating and displaying their own work.”

The Delicate Destructions workshops and resulting Project Space exhibition are the latest examples of some of the many creative opportunities MK Gallery offers young people through it’s Informal Learning Programme, principally through the Lost & Found scheme. 


MK Gallery is currently recruiting for more young people to take part in Lost & Found during 2014/2015. Anyone aged 16-24 who might be interested should register an Expression of Interest with Victoria Mayes by Friday 11 July via email





With thanks to Whitechapel Gallery, London


Whitechapel Gallery