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27th May 2015, 4:07pm
The Difference: Exploring an ideal world through contemporary art
Young artists from Meadows Primary School A thought-provoking art work which explores the way young people want the world to be will be unveiled in Lincoln on the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta – the manuscript widely regarded as the cornerstone of modern democracies.

Acclaimed visual artist Ruth Ewan will reveal her latest project at Lincoln Central Library on Monday 15th June 2015.

The work, which takes its cue from Lincoln’s historic connections with both the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest, will take the form of an alternative globe, crafted from a collection of slogans, texts and illustrated maps created by school children. The pupils, from The Meadows Primary School in Lincoln, were invited to complete a series of writing and drawing exercises through which they imagined the places they want to see and laws they want to live by.

The commission, entitled The Difference, is the first to launch as part of an innovative contemporary art programme led by the University of Lincoln.

The Gymnasium programme - with its name drawing on the Roman term for “a training space for body and mind” - brings together leading international artists with local children to consider the legacy of the ideas first put forward in Magna Carta in the 13th century.

Curated by Jeanine Griffin, Reader in Contemporary Curatorial Practice at the University of Lincoln, Gymnasium is funded by Arts Council England, together with the Henry Moore Foundation, The Elephant Trust, The Heslam Trust, the Magna Carta 800 Trust* and the Goethe Institut.

Jeanine said: “Our installations take place throughout the fabric of the city, while having at their source an institution of learning, as the original gymnasia would have had, and we are delighted to be unveiling our first commission on such a historic day. Welcoming fascinating artists such as Ruth to create new works specifically for Lincoln represents a very exciting opportunity for the whole city.”

Ruth Ewan will deliver a public talk at the University of Lincoln’s Project Space Plus gallery at 4pm on Monday 15th June 2015, before the unveiling of her installation at Lincoln Central Library. On the same day an associated exhibition of works will launch at Project Space Plus and will run until 11th July 2015. The exhibition is open to the public and admission is free.

London-based Ruth is known for creating context-specific art projects which highlight the continued relevance of particular historic moments. Her projects are often connected to the social and political history of the site in which they are based. Ruth’s recent work with Tate Britain explored the history of the gallery site as a prison, and her Liberties of the Savoy project, taking inspiration from the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, involved more than 200 young people from east London who produced a unique event at the Savoy Hotel’s Lancaster Ballroom.

Ruth’s is the first of three projects commissioned for Gymnasium, with Annika Eriksson from Berlin and Raqs Media Collective, based in New Delhi, coming to Lincoln later this year. They will also create new installations for public locations around the city of Lincoln, which will be unveiled alongside associated presentations, exhibitions and print editions.

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