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Heather Phillipson


Cooper Gallery
Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN


Exhibition: 16 June–1 July 2023, Monday–Saturday 12pm–5pm. Live event: Mourning Ritual, 8.30pm and 9.30pm on 24 June. Cooper Gallery will be open until midnight.

Dream Land

About the Work

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 1980's nature documentaries Supersense and Life Sense, Dream Land presents earthly life as a dream, accessed via the bizarre and precious lives by which we’re surrounded. Its leading characters shapeshift 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.

Mourning Ritual co-commissioned with Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) at the University of Dundee, supported by the DJCAD Centenary Trust.

About the Artist

Heather Phillipson was nominated for the Turner Prize 2022. Her recent solo exhibitions include Tate Britain's Duveen Galleries commission, London (2021-22) and the Fourth Plinth commission, Trafalgar Square (2020-22), Phillipson received the Film London Jarman Award in 2016 and the European Short Film Festival selection from the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018. She is also an award-winning poet. In 2024 she will produce new commissions for the Imperial War Museum in partnership with Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea.

Instagram: @heatherphillipson

About the Venue

Cooper Gallery is a public art gallery at the heart of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee advocating for challenging practices and critical discourse in contemporary art, design and culture and is a member of Plus Tate.

Extra Info 

  • Cooper Gallery is on two floors and has accessible routes into both Galleries, with support from on-site staff.
  • Second floor access via lift, 5 steps using stairclimber (email in advance for stairclimber)
  • Second floor access via 24 steps
  • The exhibition will have low lighting.
  • There will be an uneven floor surface, with accessible routes through.
  • Seating will be available, if required, please ask a gallery attendant.
  • Ground floor has accessible toilet

Image credits: Heather Phillipson portrait, Holly Falconer; Heather Phillipson, Dream Land, film stills, 2023, with thanks to BBC archive; Cooper Gallery, DJCAD venue image, Sally Jubb.



Art Night