Redoubt by Matthew Barney at Hayward Gallery


Art galleries are back after a long period of lockdown you can now go and visit your local museum and art gallery. It will be one of the best times to visit with no tourists you will have plenty of space, so make the most of it. They need your support.

One of my favourites is the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank in London. With its brutalist architecture, it shows off any artists work well. One of the two new exhibitions that open on the 19th of May is Redoubt by Matthew Barney. A highly anticipated exhibition that certainly lives up to its billing. It looks stunning with its copper and brass encrusted trees.

Copper encrusted tree from the exhibition Redoubt | Source : Andrew Lalchan

It’s all about ecology and the clash of the American survivalist movement with the National Forest Service. The word Redoubt comes from an old military term for a defensive fortification. An epic 2-hour feature film accompanies the exhibition with stunning scenery and is a story of a wolf hunt. The whole film can be watched online on Mubi with a code on your ticket. Definitely worth watching. You can also watch it in the exhibition, it has a seating area to view. The viewing times are Wed – Sat: 11.05am, 1.20pm, 3.40pm Sun: 10.05am, 12.20pm, 2.40pm.

The story behind the film is of a wolf hunt. This takes places over six days and nights. Ambient music and the beautiful sounds of nature envelopes you. The film is set in the Idaho wilderness. With its stunning scenery, snow-covered Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains where the hunt begins. Loosely based on the myth of Diana, the goddess of the hunt. And Actaeon a hunter who encounters her while she is bathing in the woods. There is no dialogue but the dancer’s movements tell the story together with the wildlife.

Copper and brass sculpture from the exhibition Redoubt | Source : Andrew Lalchan

This exhibition comprises of his latest work. Representing themes like cosmology, ecology and the role of artistic creation. There are sculptures created from burned out trees. With 40 engraved electroplated copper plates. In the film, he shows how they are created. He even appears as the forest ranger in the film.


This is the science of extracting metals from the ores and modifying the metals to use. Matthew Barney uses this extensively in his sculptures and engravings. Copper and brass which is an alloy of copper and zinc are combined. Using traditional and digital methods to produce his art. Tanks of copper sulphate and sulphuric acid, with an electroplater, are used to produce some of the pieces. Did you know the USA is the second highest producer of copper? The state of Idaho has some of these rocky deposits and was once mined as were lots of places in the Rocky mountains.

Sculptured piece made out of copper | Source : Andrew Lalchan

Who is Matthew Barney?

Matthew Barney is an American artist from Idaho who was born in 1967. He has had many solo exhibitions around the world. His last solo exhibition was called “River of Fundament”. It was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in New York. He is one of the most prominent American artists of his generation.

Outside the Hayward gallery | Source : Andrew Lalchan

The exhibition is on till the 25th July at the Hayward Gallery in London, tickets can be found here. There is a one-way system to go round the exhibits for social distancing purposes. The cafe is open but will most likely get very busy.

The quickest way to get there is from Embankment or Waterloo underground stations.

Here are a selection of photos that were taken on the preview, more can be found on the Flickr link below.

Sculptured piece made out of brass | Source : Andrew Lalchan
Sculptured piece of rope made out of brass | Source : Andrew Lalchan
Copper encrusted tree from the exhibition Redoubt | Source : Andrew Lalchan
Copper engravings from the exhibition Redoubt | Source : Andrew Lalchan
Copper engravings from the exhibition Redoubt | Source : Andrew Lalchan

Thanks for reading, leave a comment below if you have been to the exhibition and what you thought about it. Sign up for my newsletter for the latest events happening around London and the SE each month.


Hayward Gallery – Matthew Barney : Redoubt
Flickr photos from the exhibition –
Matthew Barney –
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