UCA artists capture the Calais to Kazakhstan E40 European Highway
Two artists from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) have visually documented and captured the route along the iconic E40 European Highway, the first of a series of ‘main international road arteries’ conceived by the United Nations in 1946.
Helen Kirwan, artist, Simon Pruciak, artist/photographer and Postgraduate International Admissions Tutor at UCA and Jarek Karpik, architect and alumni from UCA, travelled approximately 10,600 miles (17,000 Km) from Calais in France to Ridder in Kazakhstan and back as part of a research project supported by UCA, the London College of Communication and Central Saint Martins, with patronage from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva.
The E40 passes through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Parts of the route follow pre-existing cross-continental long-distance trade routes, corridors for the transmission of goods, culture, people, ideas, beliefs and inventions between east and west, including prehistoric ancient pathways and sections of the so-called silk routes.
The purpose of the project “The image of the road” was to produce a body of video work and photography about travel and the experience of the E40 route. During the trip the artists captured daily movement along the road, ambient sounds, conversations and interviews at service stations. The aim was to capture unconscious and conscious bodily, physical experiences; the real and the virtual on the basis that the ‘film’ and the spectator share a way of being in the world.
As an outcome the artists will produce an exhibition of video work and photography which will be displayed at galleries worldwide. The first exhibition will take place in New Delhi from 3 – 8 December 2013 during a UN conference. An exhibition is also planned in Palais de Nations in Geneva during the early part of 2014, and subsequently, in each of the countries the artists visited.
Helen Kirwan said: “Although I have been researching sections of the E40 between Calais and Brussels since 2004, this opportunity to examine its whole length to Kazakhstan was incomparable and we now have a great deal of extremely rich material for exhibition.”
Simon Pruciak adds: “While referring to the E40 route a UNECE member of staff said ‘it’s not really a road, it’s more of a projection of a road, a virtual road’. I would never have expected this to be such a resonating message for me throughout the project.”
For more information contact:
Emma Cutting, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01727 850761
Robert Crosland, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01727 850761