Heather Phillipson: Dream Land | Preview

Friday 16 June 2023

Exhibition Preview and Drinks Reception

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Friday 16 June 2023, 18:00 - 20:00
Crawford Building

University of Dundee
Perth Road

Crawford Building
Booking required?

Exhibition Preview and Drinks Reception

Friday 16 June, 6–8pm

Cooper Gallery and Art Night are delighted to invite you to the preview of Dream Land, a first look at the major new commission by artist Heather Phillipson.

The preview is free open to all and unticketed.

Dream Land is a new commission by Heather Phillipson which incorporates archival BBC wildlife footage, recast as hallucination. Opening with its bug protagonist sucked through a vacuum cleaner nozzle, the film lands us in an alternative world which resembles our own but as if broadcast from another dimension. Remixing and revoicing remarkable scenes from innovative 1980s nature documentaries Supersense and Life SenseDream Land presents earthly life as a dream, accessed via the bizarre and precious lives by which we’re surrounded. Its leading characters shape shift between species and environments, reprogrammed to form an alternative narrative. Creatures appear as interlocutors, harbingers and guides. In parallel, it is scored with a soundscape, composed by the artist, that samples the crackles of wildlife into a strange new music. 

The film is punctuated by Mourning Ritual, a one-off audio event composed by Phillipson to communicate with the spirits of departed animals. The event will take place at Cooper Gallery on the evening of Art Night. 

Dream Land is part of Art Fund's national 2023 programme The Wild Escape and will be exhibited at the Cooper Gallery, Dundee from 16 June–1 July. Art Night will subsequently gift the video to The McManus Art Gallery & Museum’s permanent collection as a legacy of the festival in Dundee. 

Dream Land acquired with Art Fund support as part of the Wild Escape, in partnership with The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum. With further support from Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) at the University of Dundee and Creative Kernow.

Following the exhibition preview the exhibition will be open Monday to Saturday, 12–5pm until Saturday 1 July 2023.



Doors open: 6pm

Exhibition viewing and drinks reception: 6–8pm 


The exhibition preview and drinks reception is free and open to all.

71 Brewing will provide the drinks reception, serving alcoholic draft beers. Non alcoholic options will also be available.

No tickets required. 

Artist's Biography

Heather Phillipson’s audacious and wide-ranging practice often involves collisions of wildly different materials, media and gestures in what she describes as ‘quantum thought experiments’. Phillipson was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2022. In 2023, she will present a new commission for the Imperial War Museum/14:18 Now Legacy Fund at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. Recent solo exhibitions include: THE END, the Fourth Plinth commission, Trafalgar Square (2020-22); RUPTURE NO.1: blowtorching the bitten peach, Tate Britain, London (2021); Almost Gone, an audio collage for BBC Radio 3 (2020); The Age of Love, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2018); and my name is lettie eggsyrub, a major public commission for Gloucester Road underground station, Art on the Underground, London (2018). Recent group exhibitions include: British Art Show 9, UK touring (2021-22); Bodies of Water, 13th Shanghai Biennale, China (2021); Garden of Earthly Delights, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019); Leaving the Echo Chamber, Sharjah Biennial 14, UAE (2019); I Was Raised on the Internet, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018); Frieze Projects, New York, USA (2016); INCERTEZA VIVA (Live Uncertainty), 32nd Bienal de Sāo Paulo, Brazil (2016); and Performa, New York (2016).

Phillipson received the Film London Jarman Award in 2016 and was awarded the European Film Festival selection at the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018. She is also a musician and award-winning poet and has published five volumes of poetry. 

Artist's website

Partner Biography


In 2021, Art Night went national for the first time, engaging with audiences at a range of museums, galleries and outdoor spaces across the UK as well as being open to audiences globally through a series of newly commissioned online works. In 2023, this format will be developed further, and cemented with a biennial festival.. Since 2016 Art Night has commissioned 60 new artworks and attracted 300,000 live audiences, 800,000 digital and an additional 2 million via touring, museum acquisitions and national projects.

Art Night was set up in 2015 by Philippine Nguyen and Ksenia Zemtsova. The original four festivals took place in partnership with art organisations in different parts of London and were guest curated by leading UK based curators - The ICA and Kathy Noble (2015); Whitechapel Gallery and Fatos Uztek (2016); Hayward Gallery and Ralph Rugoff (2017`). In 2019, Art Night appointed Helen Nisbet as Artistic Director, her first festival took place in the outer London borough of Waltham Forest to coincide with the Mayor of London’s first Borough of Culture before the first national Art Night festival in 2021.

Art Night invites artists to make ambitious, durational and performative work for non-traditional public spaces. Previous artists making major new commissions for the festival include Barbara Kruger; Joan Jonas; Zadie Xa; Cecile B Evans; Imran Perretta and Paul Purgas; Linder; Celia Hempton; Mark Leckey; Christine Sun Kim; Frances Stark and Anne Hardy.


Cooper Gallery is located to the right side of the DJCAD buildings on Perth Road. The entrance is via double doors which face onto a car park.

The gallery is on two floors. Ground floor has ramped access. First floor is accessible by an internal lift and six steps with a handrail. Wheelchair access is via a stairclimber. Please email in advance if you require lift or stairclimber access.

First floor is also accessible via 24 steps. Two flights of 12 steps with handrails are separated by a landing.

During the exhibition preview alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. 

For all enquiries please email: exhibitions@dundee.ac.uk


The ground floor has a wheelchair accessible toilet. The toilet is gender neutral.


Large print versions of the exhibition information handout are available, please ask our Guides. If you require alternative formats for material in exhibitions please email or ask our Guides.

Image credit

Header Image: Heather Phillipson, Dream Land, film still, 2023. Image courtesy Heather Phillipson with footage courtesy the BBC archives.

Preview Photography by Sarah Smart.


Cooper Gallery is a parter of Art Night Dundee.

The preview event has been supported by 71 Brewing.

Dream Land is a co-commission by Art Night and the Art Fund. It forms part of Art Fund's Wild Escape programme. A live event is co-commissioned by Art Night and Cooper Gallery with support from the DJCAD Centenary Trust.

logos Cooper Gallery, DJCAD, Art Night, Art Fund, Wild Escapes, McManus, 71 Brewing

Cooper Gallery

Event type Gallery event
Event category Design and Art