ExLab: Exploratory Laboratory

ExLab – Exploratory Laboratory – is a Big Picture project.


ExLab is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. The London 2012 Festival celebrates the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film, comedy and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For more details on the programme, to download the London 2012 Festival official guide and to sign up for information visit www.london2012.com/festival

Download the full EXLAB programme here: Field Guide

Go to full programme here

ExLab is a ground-breaking arts programme along the Jurassic Coast, where earth scientists and artists have collaborated to reveal hidden landscapes through the lenses of art, geology and technology.

Initiated by Jo Morland and Amanda Wallwork, ExLab presents a series of research-led commissions for artists which have led to the creation of fascinating new temporary artworks developed in response to the geology of the Jurassic Coast. The ExLab artists have investigated the coastal processes using geomapping and cutting-edge land-scanning technologies, making the invisible visible.

Artists Simon Callery, Mat Chivers, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, Simon Ryder and creative studio Proboscis, were selected from over 200 submissions to work with scientists to reveal new narratives about the places, the people and the landscape of Dorset.

Five wild and beautiful coastline locations will be revealed and re-interpreted by scientists and artists and presented in buildings, open-air locations and galleries across Dorset. A living laboratory of science-inspired art experiences will offer visitors vivid moments of insight and wonder – field-trips and artworks combine to inspire and engage people in the coast’s past, present and future.

Collaboration is at the heart of ExLab. Initiated in 2010, ExLab is the first project delivered by Big Picture, a collaboration of seven visual arts organisations in Dorset working closely with Dorset County Council, The National Trust and Creative Coast.

Following an 8-month research period, the works will be installed at locations across Dorset between the 27th July and 9th September, running parallel to the Olympic events in Dorset.

The 2012 delivery of ExLab is being managed by Producer Carolyn Black, working alongside the Big Picture membership organisations and delivery partners, including National Trust, Durlston Country Park  and Dorset County Council.

View visitor information here.

Where the sea meets the land: Sea bed and topographic mapping combine to produce a unique view of Durlston’s geology with unprecedented resolution above and below the waves. Copyright Andrew Ford (@SpatialProf), Bournemouth University. Airborne laser scanning and bathymetry data courtesy of the Channel Coastal Observatory.