Our Wider Flesh – exhibition

Exhibition of ceramics, installation, projection and video by Clare Carter, practice-based postgraduate researcher at the University of Leeds.

This exhibition charts the first year of Clare Carter’s practice-based PhD project ‘Mothering Beyond the Flesh’ which investigates the relationships between landscape, maternal agency and creative practice.

Situated in the post-industrial and semi-rural landscape of West Yorkshire – where the artist was born, raised and currently lives with her two young children – the first year of this research has focussed on uncovering the historical and theoretical roots of her own separation from this landscape. It addresses how maternal and creative practice can generate narratives that might illuminate ways in which to attend and re-attach ourselves to the immediate environment.

In addition to the video ‘Our Wider Flesh’, the exhibition presents a series of ceramic works made with materials foraged from the mines and fields close to the artist’s home, responding to the flesh of the land through intimate and performative vessels and tiles.

Other works-in-progress include installation with projections, alternative photographic processes and auto-ethnographic writing.

Engaging with maternal, phenomenological, ecofeminist and landscape theory, the works on display are meditations on placemaking, geological deep-time intimacy and the cyclical nature of dwelling and caregiving – becoming research artefacts that trace the convergence of these different practices.

About the artist

Clare Carter is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher with a history of songwriting, music composition and performance. Her practice is auto-ethnographic and engages with site-specific projects that explore the human attachment to landscape and notions of world-making.

Carter finished her MA Fine Art in September 2022 at the University of Leeds. She was awarded a White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) doctoral training scholarship for her PhD research project in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies.


Project Space
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
University Road
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Opening times

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 11am to 4pm
Saturday: 11am to 2pm

Artwork by Clare Carter

Screenshot from Clare Carter’s video ‘Our Wider Flesh’ (2024).

More information

‘Our Wider Flesh’ takes its name from an essay written by cultural ecologist David Abram, who describes the journeys of migratory animals such as the Monarch Butterfly and Sockeye Salmon through the sensory exchange that guides them across the surface of the Earth to reproduce.

These animals navigate thousands of miles over land, through the ocean and along rivers to exact locations with no ‘internal map’ or representational image projected outwards onto the world, guiding them to their destination. Instead, it is performed through the sensations of the landscape experienced through their bodies. As Abram suggests, the landscape becomes part of their wider flesh. 

Through the lens of motherhood, the eponymous video in this exhibition articulates ideas about bodies and land, maternal ancestry and the enclosure acts preceding the Industrial Revolution in the West that enabled capitalism to flourish across the world.

Set around a building site in a field across from the artist’s terraced house in the semi-rural, post-industrial village of Denby Dale, West Yorkshire, an a capella composition emerges from responding to the sounds of diggers and machinery as the landscape is carved up and turned into future homes.

Footage taken by the artist moving through this landscape is projected onto paper using a faulty projector that is in the process of breaking down, metamorphosing and composting the imagery as it moves across the surface.

The artist’s seven year old child is projected dancing around the arches of the Victorian viaduct next to their home, weaving her body into the space, mirroring and reifying the sensory exchange that might have existed before people were separated from their land throughout the centuries of capitalism.

This separation can be witnessed and experienced as the dualisms of nature and culture manifest within the landscape and ecological crisis that is currently unfolding in the Anthropocene. 

Feature image

Detail from video by Clare Carter. Image courtesy of the artist.