Emergency! Sarah Casey - 12 November to 4 February 2023

We are delighted to present this solo exhibition - Emergency! by Sarah Casey at Drawing Projects UK from 12 November to 4 February 2023. 

Emergency! is an exhibition of new work by Sarah Casey developed in response to glacial archaeology. In 2018, at Valais Museums, Switzerland, Sarah began drawing artefacts that have emerged from alpine glaciers as the ice in which they have been preserved for 50, 500 or 5000 years is now melting at unprecedented rates. This glacial archaeology embodies a position of extreme precarity: these rare and valuable finds preserve important knowledge about the human past, yet insight comes at the cost of environmental change and threatened futures. Moreover, the artefacts themselves, once released from their frozen slumber, will rapidly decay and disintegrate when exposed. The Emergency! exhibition aims to explore this precarity asking how might processes of drawing – with its use of marking and erasure, presence and absence – negotiate these tensions and find new ways of thinking through loss and change? The drawings in the exhibition are made by trapping dust in wax and so, like the archaeology they depict, are contingent on their environmental conditions to survive – if they get exposed to heat, they will melt away. This research was developed through a Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship 2021 and undertaken in dialogue with Valais History Museum, Switzerland.  

Sarah Casey is a visual artist and researcher working at the cusp of drawing and sculpture. Her drawings exploring the limits of visibility and material existence arise from working alongside researchers from other fields, ranging from archaeology to astrophysics. Solo exhibitions of her work have been at Kensington Palace, The Bowes Museum and most recently at Ryerson University, Toronto. She also writes on drawing and is co-author of Drawing Investigations: graphic relationships with science, culture and environment (Bloomsbury 2020). She is Senior Lecturer in Drawing and Installation at Lancaster University, UK where she is Director for the School of Fine Art. Sarah was a Royal Drawing School Scottish artist-in-residence in 2020 and a Visiting Research Fellow at The Henry Moore Institute from 2020-21. Her current work explores the provocations of glacial archaeology. With Rebecca Birch and Jen Southern she is co-founder of the Rocky Climates network bringing together artists concerned with the mobilities and temporal, spatial, cultural instabilities of landscapes in uncertain times.

The exhibition is kindly supported by Lancaster University and Arts Council England and presented as part of the Being Human Festival 2022; it is accompanied by a dedicated programme of online Drawing Discussions and in-person and online Drawing Sessions (see Drawing Discussions and Drawing Sessions under the Community section of our website). Please join us for the preview of the exhibition on Saturday 12 November from 5pm to 7pm by booking here.

Visitor information: The exhibition is presented in The Entrance Hall and Chief Secretary's Office at Drawing Projects UK in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Pre-booked entry is essential to see the full exhibition - to arrange to visit please email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - the drawings on display in The Entrance Hall can be seen whenever our building is open for Miranda's cafe (usually Tuesday to Saturday, 8am to 4pm).

We are adjacent to Trowbridge railway station, which has frequent local and regional train services, and there are several public car parks nearby. Drawing Projects UK is an accessible building and a blue badge parking space is available. There is an audio guide to the exhibition.