All the artist’s work installed in the gallery. I love how there are so many connections between our work. This scheme was a great experience. Photographs (c) Paper Gallery
New work made as part of the Tracing Paper scheme at Paper Gallery. Finished at last!
My new works, Penetralia and Furl build on my previous project Wigs; but rather than explore narrative and symbolic associations around the posed wig, I have chosen to investigate the wig’s suggestive possibilities in their disembodied state. Wigs are intended to be worn on the body, and through the body’s surfaces, they are easily subsumed into the wearer’s identity. But a disembodied wig has to acquire its identity and presence through its own means: its interior and exterior become interchangeable – suggesting new possibilities for interpretation.
For both series, I have manipulated and photographed wigs in order to draw attention to their oddness, whilst maintaining some allusions to their previous feminising function. By cutting through the resulting photographs I am literally opening up the wig in order to create playful relationships between interior and exterior, as well as suggest different spaces where new meanings can be explored. As fragile paper experiments, they hint at the delicate nature of femininity as a masquerade, and offer glimpses of the surreal and uncanny in otherwise everyday objects.
I inherited a half-frame camera from my dad and since seeing Luke Fowler’s ‘Two-Frame Film’ project I’ve wanted to have a play with one.
These are my first images – taken on a walk round my dad’s place in Spain. I had no pre-conceived plan and I like the accidental coincidences.
However, I’m not really satisfied with relying on coincidences, I want to use the camera’s own framing devices as a kind of creative “obstruction”. It seems natural to use the pairings creatively – one aspect of the camera that interests me is the way that you need to try and remember the previous image when planning the current, and the next and so on – so there is a temporal element to taking. The images become part of the strip – like a cinematic film, recording an unfolding event. The process reminds me of watching Hollis Frampton’s ‘Nostalgia’ – where you have to try to remember the past and engage with the present at the same time.
The other option is to forget the strip – and focus on the relationship between the pairings only – this way I could experiment with more formal qualities – fragments, cuts, juxtapositions of forms, abstraction. I’ve shot a set at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (yet to be processed) with these ideas in mind.
Ante Meridiem is an exiting book project that I’m really pleased to be part of. Here is a taster.
My response of the theme of ante meridiem starts from the notion that in that first period of waking time we exist in a kind of liminal, or in-between state. The morning realignment of conscious mind and body is an interesting time, the morning mind slowly awakens from sleep still holding on to the residue of one’s dream state and fragments of dream logic mingle with the real sensations of the awaking physical body. The morning also represents a transformation of private self to public, gendered body. My images of manipulated ordinary objects associated with feminine grooming create playful relationships between interior and exterior and the real and surreal to hint at the fragile nature of the feminine masquerade we create every morning.
In June 1890, at a seance in the North of England, a golden lily was summoned into existence by a medium going by the name of Elizabeth d’Espérance. The flower remained manifestly real for a whole week, then ‘dissolved and disappeared.’ I’ve been holding on to this snippet of information for a long time, captivated by the image of a golden lily – and its unnatural manifestation.
This piece, developed as a response to Diorama: Blackpool’s Hidden Theatres – seemed the right place for me to develop connections between the popularity of mediums and clairvoyants, and the many forms of spectacle or entertainment they put on show in Blackpool towards the end of the 19th century. The seance in particular always fascinated me. It is an inherently theatrical experience: the darkened room, the heavy, velvet drapes, the anticipation of the audience, the conjuring of apparitions out of thin air, and the multitude of voices inhabiting the body of the medium, who performed, as if on stage, even though they were actually situated in just an alcove or a cabinet, set apart from the normal crowd.
The medium, nearly always female, plays her role in what could be regarded as a liminal state – becoming a threshold, to speak the words of the dead for an audience of the living, and to make physical forms out of purely spectral messages. This act of manifestation mirrors that of photography, just as much as it mirrored and was associated with telegraphy, in the imagination of the Victorians: the latent image materialising in the darkroom, the message being received through the aether by a receiver – both seemingly magic acts. The medium’s body can also be likened to a camera, just as it’s been compared to a telegraphic receiver – capturing the uncapturable, and making visible things the eye couldn’t normally see.
My moving image piece offers a contemporary response to this long relationship between technology, spectacle and the nineteenth century medium. The work was presented as an installation – an image flickering on a piece of glass – viewed through a peep hole.