Wear Me, 2014, showing in Williams Art Gallery, Gwydir St, City Centre, Cambridge CB1 2LJ as part of Art::Language::Location 2014
Earlier this year I entered an open submissions competition and was thrilled to have work accepted.
This weekend was set up in Cambridge, UK, along with many other artists.
In regards to my work, I've been pondering and exploring the idea of erasure and removal in many different guises (of the female figure from it's static location within advertisements), still exploring my interest in how images in popular culture are presented to us, and what messages are embedded within as a result.
This particular Project (ALL), gave me a chance to develop ideas started last year when my work was also chosen to be part of Deptford X. Posters.
Posters as a way of re-examining public images. I'm interested in sight. In the consumption of images. What we view and where we might view it and the language therein. I want to intervene and interfere with the images that are presented to me as a norm, or as an identity, or as an aspiration for me or my life. There is a sense I am inadequate without what is presented to me. This is the basis of advertising is it not? To emphasise lack; where we lack in our life and where one's life would be better etc etc if we only had what was (visually) on offer. It's about looking and desiring.
That's another reason I 'do' art - it's an opportunity to create visual images that have a language of their own, or at least attempt to.
As I homed in closer to these images and started to look at the context of where female models were placed, what titles were given to the articles or fashion shoots, I felt an odd mix of alarm, surreality, frustration, disbelief, and at times horror. But then I chose to emphasise these contexts, switching them about, minimising areas, choosing to select and re-look and re-present, and in the process create new narratives - as much of my work does.
What happens if you take a photo of a photo. If you select and magnify an area. The odd-ness increases, revealing (in my view) just how strange, and at times, how insidious advertising can be.
In this project I developed a series of images, selecting, magnifying and re-contextualising graphic imagery. I have put these images with article headlines or advertising text from the same magazine, marrying them together so they become one again. I chose to explore the incongruity, and amplifying that incongruity that already exists, for me, within the pages of the same magazine and advertising in general.
These (altered) images have then been put back into the public domain in Cambridge ranging from shopfronts, to cafes, to an art gallery, to bookshop walls, to public park noticeboards. I've often longed to put work back out in the public domain, removing it from a white cube gallery scenario which can make them commodities and concrete 'art-work's and therefore being 'read' in a certain way as a result. But by being posters in an alternative context, they have a chance to be read differently. For others to bring their own thoughts and narratives to it as they encounter these images in unlikely places, throwing off a typical or 'given' reading of 'images and text' within certain locations.
This seems to be an ongoing part of my work and practice. A way of examining public graphics, exploring the ways and hows of taking photographs and playing with the tyranny of imagery that already exists 'out there' in the public domain and how and where we experience visual culture. I recognise this over-abundance of advertising is synonymous with living in a city, and this level of mass media imagery doesn't exist everywhere, in all locations, although it is extremely pervasive.
What impact does TV have? What impact does all the imagery we encounter on a daily basis have on us?
I don't necessarily have the answers, but I enjoy using art as means to explore this. To take apart what already exists and question it. I enjoy being a creator and not just passive consumer of what culture has to offer - creating different realities even. Reality is up for creation, not just consumption.
I hope you can visit the projects and art-works for this year's Art::Language::Location in Cambridge. It looks set to be great, with some fine artists showing (pardon the pun), performing and generally punctuating the city with art.
Locations for my pieces in Cambridge:
'Future Perfect' - Waterstones bookshop, 22 Sidney Street, CB2 3HG
'Out of the Ordinary' - Waterstones bookshop, 22 Sidney Street, CB2 3HG
'As Seen' - Waterstones bookshop, 22 Sidney Street, CB2 3HG
'The Chosen One's - Indigo Cafe, 8 St. Edward's Passage, CB21
'Casting Her Spell' - G. Davids bookshop, 16 St. Edwards Passage, CB2 3PJ
'Wear Me' - Williams Art Gallery, Gwydir St, City Centre, CB1 2LJ
'Dream Cream' - Parkers Piece, Park Noticeboard, Cambridge City Centre see map here
'Designing the Future' - CB1 Cafe, Mill Road, City Centre, CB1 2AD
'the goddess of small things' - St. Mary's Church Railings, City Centre, CB2 3PQ
*event runs until Nov 2nd. All images will go on my website soon
In other news:
We have the last day of Open Studios down at ArtLacuna today, please do come and visit us.
I was also honoured to by invited to contribute a piece to this great new site: KontentApp - please see my piece here.
There is more to come, but there has been so much going on lately that I feel a need for a rest before continuing on into the next vast plain of where life and art take me.