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A collection of works by Alan McFetridge
Opening Dates & Hours

Coinciding with Earth Day, this month-long exhibition by Alan McFetridge observes the aftermath of the catastrophic Fort McMurray fire and asks…what happens after the flames have gone and there is silence?

Photography and the Arts have long challenged ongoing dissonance after the displacement of people and its consequences.

Join us in exploring the aftermath of this century’s most intense urban fire and the rapidly changing relationship between human expansion and the fierce face of fire. In the traditional lands of the Cree, Dene and unceded territory of the Métis, Fort McMurray, Alberta, the hub of Canada’s oil industry, was upturned by wildfire in May 2016. The multi-billion-dollar disaster razed entire neighbourhoods and drove 90,000 from their home in a single afternoon. 

Artist and photographer Alan McFetridge visited Fort McMurray in October 2016, at the start of winter, and then again during mid-winter in 2017, to understand the local challenges in the aftermath of the disaster and its meaning for life on Earth. 

The exhibition is an experiment that asks how photography can better address socio-ecological issues within climate change through poetics and offer a way of resisting the norms of documentary photography, rationale or civil disruption.

The photography is shown as an artist's manuscript, which is expanded onto the gallery walls and doorways as prints, text and sound and then synthesised with additional works by the transdisciplinary Centre of Ecological Philosophy. These offer alternative perspectives on the same event with an essay by researcher Antoinette Johnson, community feedback from Fort McMurray by anthropologist Emma McLoughlin, Earth observation tools by data scientists Eric Yusef and Mohamed Mazy, a recorded discussion with artist Justin Hibbs, a peer-reviewed visual essay with Dan Devit and two Dialogue Evenings.

The evening talk on 17 April expands the projects beyond artistic interpretation. Fort McMurray resident and collaborator Megan Bastien and Alan McFetridge, joined by economist Simon Bishop, will mediate a discussion between people at the exhibition in London, online and the Fort McMurray residents. Tickets are free but please reserve your spot! We will also have some activities on Earth Day - details coming soon!


Photograph of the city in the haze
Photograph of a lone street lamp in the dark
photograph of buildings at twilight
photograph of a tea kettle
photograph of a quiet snowy road
photograph of burned trees
Opening Dates & Hours

Songs of the Dead will be on display in the Lower Gallery during gallery opening times from Wednesday 3 April to Monday 29 April 2024.

The gallery is generally open:

  • Monday - Tuesday : 12pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday : 11am to 3pm
  • Thursday - Sunday : 12pm to 4pm

Please note that the gallery hours may change or the gallery may close at short notice due to private events. To avoid disappointment, please check our most up-to-date opening hours by clicking here or calling us on 020 8348 8716 the day before your visit.