EXHIBITION: 27-31 January 2024, Bridewell Gallery, Liverpool

Preview: Friday 26th January 6.30-9pm ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION with Dr Catherine Morris

Terra Ignota (‘unknown land’) is a new exhibition at Bridewell Gallery showing experimental artworks by artists Margaret O’Brien and John Elcock. Although distinct, the works are mutual in their exploration of intersections between art, bio-energy, and digital technologies. Through bio-technology, live bio-materials are used with digital media to transform invisible energy from one live form into another.

Margaret’s work Resistance: West is an ongoing work that develops a live experimental orchestra using a series of microbial fuel cells made from local soil. The piece creates in effect, a series of musical instruments by translating the fluctuating electrical activity of bacteria in soil into sound. Through its live and unpredictable nature, the work explores parameters of failure in the pursuit of new discoveries.


O’BRIEN / RESISTANCE WEST at Interface Connemara 2023 ©

John’s installation Geist responds to the particular qualities of the Bridewell’s historic spaces and seeks to enter a dialogue with Margaret’s artwork. John’s piece similarly uses site-specific, recovered earth to power a live artwork; in this case the soil itself distilling something of its spirit of place to illuminate a ghostly light – powered by no extraneous sources. In doing so we are invited to reflect on the latent qualities of time and place, a reminder that what appears unseen is not always absent.


Bridewell Gallery is at 101 Prescot St Liverpool L7 8UL