Exhibition: Holding Space by Anna Bunting-Branch

Community, Exhibitions, Free, In Person, Performance, Workshops

Friday 28th June – Sunday 18th August 2024

God's House Tower, Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2NY

Come and join us on Saturday 29th June to celebrate the launch of our latest exhibition Holding Space by Anna Bunting-Branch.


‘a space’ arts presents Holding Space; a major new commission by London-based multidisciplinary artist Anna Bunting-Branch.


Holding Space is an exhibition by Anna Bunting-Branch, commissioned by ‘a space’ arts.  Holding Space explores the role of reproductive refusal in climate activism and considers how environmental factors affect decisions about bringing children into the world.  The exhibition is informed by the artist’s ongoing research into childlessness and different ways of conceiving the future in the face of climate emergency.

An animation is exhibited in the Barker-Mill Project Space. Taking breath as a metaphor for the intimate relationship between body and environment, this work touches on the personal and political stakes of reproductive refusal.  In response to what the animation’s protagonist calls the “violent comforts” of late capitalism, refusal is here reclaimed as a generative and loving act.  Digital effects bring hand-painted imagery to life along with new music by Rosie Carr.

In the Main Gallery Space, a series of paintings draw out themes and imagery from the animation.  Here, allusions to burnout, depression, and “navel gazing” reflect the impact of negative climate emotions.  Responding directly to the architecture and history of God’s House Tower, Anna explores ways of entwining the narrative threads of her work into the rich fabric of the building.

During the course of the exhibition, Anna will host gatherings in the gallery.  Participants from the local areawho respond to her open call will be invited to unpack some of the key ideas that inform Holding Space; sharing food and ideas as they talk and create together. These workshops aim to build a sense of collective enquiry and establish the roots of a community that can continue to meet and support each other in the future. Outcomes from the workshops are incorporated into the exhibition, forming a generative archive that will inspire the next chapter of Holding Space.

At God’s House Tower, bespoke exhibition furniture creates space for these gatherings, and for viewers to spend time with an evolving display of artwork and research material.  This furniture was made by the artist in collaboration with her partner using surplus from Weber Industries, the “family business” where they both work.  Elsewhere, shredded financial documents produced by Anna’s administrative labour for the business provides material for new objects crafted by the artist and workshop participants.

The works on display in Holding Space explore the potential for what the artist calls “fertile counter narratives” of childlessness.  The use of the term “childless” rather than the more positively-glossed “childfree” expresses a commitment to thinking through the negative and embracing difficult feelings.  This is an exhibition shaped by self-reflection, which invites us to consider our own conceptions of reproduction and futurity.


About the Artist

Anna Bunting-Branch is an artist and researcher based in London. Moving between painting, writing, and animation, her work explores spaces of future re-vision: from feminist collective action to speculative fiction and fan activity.

Solo presentations include Warm Worlds and Otherwise, QUAD, Derby (2020) and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2018), and The Labours of Barren House, Jerwood Space, London (2017). Her work has been presented in group exhibitions and events internationally, including at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (2022), Somerset House (2022), Bastione Sangallo (2020), Castlefield Gallery (2020), FACT Liverpool (2019), Bergen Kunsthall (2018), Helsinki Contemporary (2018), CCA Derry-Londonderry (2017), and ICA London (2017). In 2023, she collaborated with Naomi Pearce on Good Bad Books?––a public programme for Barbican exploring genre fiction.

Since 2018, Potential Wor(l)ds, her collaborative project with Aliyah Hussain inspired by SF and constructed language, has toured to international venues including Project Arts Centre (2021) and Sonic Acts Academy (2020). She received a Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mention for Computer Animation in 2021 and an Arts Council England Project Grant in 2019. She has contributed to The Irigaray Circle since 2010, when she was awarded the Karen Burke Memorial Prize.

In 2022, she completed a PhD titled ‘Practicing the Difference: Reading Luce Irigaray with Feminist Science Fiction’, supported by the AHRC London Arts & Humanities Partnership at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.


More information about the inspirations and influences behind Holding Space which includes a Critical Writing Commission written by Patricia MacCormack, a glossary of terms and an audio guide of the exhibition which can be found below.


Click here to read a Critical Writing Commission by Patricia MacCormack

Critical Writing Commission


Click here to read a List of Works by Anna Bunting-Branch.

List of Works


Click here to read a glossary of terms which are used in and throughout the exhibition

Glossary of Terms


Click here to find an Audio Version of the Exhibition Text


Alongside the production period, we have been closely analysing our Environmental Impact. This Environmental Impact Report calculates the carbon footprint of the production period for Holding Space by Anna Bunting-Branch.

Environmental Impact Report


Holding Space will be on display at God’s House Tower Friday 28th June – Sunday 18th August 2024.

Join us for associated events that are part of the programme! You can see the complete list of events and how to register for them here. 


Get your FREE tickets for the launch event HERE