Ryan Heath: The Thinning

Installation and animated short for virtual reality by artist Ryan Heath


  • 6th December 2019

  • 7th December 2019

  • 8th December 2019

  • 9th December 2019

  • 10th December 2019

  • 11th December 2019

  • 12th December 2019

  • 13th December 2019

  • 14th December 2019

What time

Daily: 12:00PM – 6:00PM, Preview: 6:00PM – 9:00PM (Fri 6 Dec only)


Broadway Gallery,

17 Heathcoat Street,





THE THINNING presents an unexplainable phenomenon in a post-industrial landscape.

An installation and animated short for virtual reality by Nottingham-based artist Ryan Heath.

This exhibition takes inspiration from the apotropaic graffiti or ‘witch marks’ of Creswell Craggs, an enclosed limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The cliffs in the ravine contain several caves housing ritual protection marks dating back hundreds of years. During this time a fear of the unknown prompted superstitious locals to mark many symbols in these rocks holding multiple meanings, which number in the high hundreds in one cave alone. Death and disease were everyday companions and evil forces could readily be imagined in this dark void. Marks have since been found in all caves at Creswell Crags.

The artist re-imagines such phenomena in post-industrial Britain. Visuals are drawn from the artist’s interest in contemporary symbology, found in the urban environment. Through the use of these symbols, Heath considers how the unknown plays a role in the construction of narrative and examines how we seek meaning in an increasingly complex world. Heath borrows from the historical, semiotic and occult to illustrate these very human traits.

Score by AJA Ireland.

Performance by Dean Morris (preview date only).

Installation by Anna Manfield and George Chinnery.

‘The Thinning’ is a weak spot in reality where the fabric of worlds has been worn thin.

Dates & Times

7 – 14 December 2019

Broadway Gallery opening times:

  • Preview: Friday 6 December, 6:00PM – 9:00PM
  • Daily: 12:00PM – 6:00PM

Access via Heathcoat Street or Broadway main entrance.

About the artist

Ryan Heath is a Nottingham-based artist who received his BA in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University in 2017. He works with painting, sculpture and new media. Heath is also a BACKLIT studio artist and former member of Chaos Magic, an artist-led project space.

His work explores mark making and manipulation, in the material and simulated sense. He revives lost and hidden markings from the urban landscape and reinvents their purpose or meaning through graphical painting and worldbuilding. In doing this, Heath focuses on the way possible narratives are gained and lost through symbolism and abstraction.

Using traditional notions of ‘the artist as a recorder of the world’, Ryan recycles, revives and regurgitates lost and hidden markings, collected through ‘psychogeographical’ walks. Ryan often uses a combination of digital and physical fabrication to present these site-specific visual artworks, using computer-generated imagery which is then recreated on board or canvas. Recently, Ryan’s practise has moved into using 3D models from mobile photogrammetry to populate new cyberspaces.


Broadway Gallery open call

The Thinning takes place as part of Near Now's series of open call opportunities, supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

In 2020, we are offering exhibition opportunities open to artists, working in any art form, who are enabled or inspired by technology. We invite expressions of interest from creative practitioners based in and around Nottingham.

Produced by Near Now with support from The University of Nottingham.

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