Artist Statement

2017-03-14

Exhibition Title: “Wrap yourself around that choking breath of mine”.

Statement about my individual contribution to this collaborative work: “Wrap yourself around that choking breath of mine”

My work within this curated piece focuses on text and objects and the relationship they hold within our exhibition space. The text explores themes of inter-connectivity through language and typography, drawing on elements of objects such as clay, thread and pattern. Through these – often ambiguous – relationships the viewer is invited to explore their own relationship with the space and consider their external inter-connectivity to the things that surround them. The objects and text do not contain specific feelings or intended content, it is the viewer that must form their own connections to the pieces and navigate what relationships might emerge from them.

Ian Hamilton Finlay and Lawrence Weiner are prominent influences. Hamilton’s work considers exterior spaces and language. It also considers the potential for these constructed spaces to invoke philosophical thought. Lawrence Weiner’s presentation of language and the boundaries language can be pushed to in its setting was also considered in the installation. Gesture and typography within his texts were invaluable to the formatting of text within the space as the passages are amplified depending on the form they are presented.

Ultimately, the curation of this exhibition intends to explore space in its many guises, through text and object. How traditional relationships change when these conventions are manipulated and reformed is a major part of my research interest.

Statement about the collaborative process for “Wrap yourself around that choking breath of mine”

After working successfully in a collaborative group last term, we decided to continue working together to critically improve both as a group and in our individual practices. Initially we wanted to explore more personal processes so we worked on our solitary practices within a collective space – reacting to and creating work based upon each others pieces.

As we found that our individual ideas for projects seemed to differ so, we concluded that the best way to continue our collaboration was not to necessarily create art together, but instead to collaboratively curate an installation of our works.

We planned to completely take over and inhabit a corner of the studio, much like how artist Mark Garry’s work occupies gallery space, brazenly demanding attention. Inspired by Garry’s use of threads we decided to incorporate elements of his practice within the installation as threads tie in with both Hazel’s sculptural and photographic pieces and Ellie’s ‘Designed Chaos‘ works. The action of threads stretching and wrapping around our space also relates to Rebecca’s poetry which deals with interconnectivity between space and objects, which we felt would support and effectively combine all three of our practices.

We’ve also all expressed a very keen interest in experimenting with projections in the past, and so works by artist Tony Oursler in which he projects distorted faces onto large objects, further inspired us to develop this approach in our collaborative work. Oursler creates immersive experiences that both ensnare the viewer’s focus, whilst also looking forward to the digitally assisted future of image and identity production.

However, whilst we were all able to improve our practices through experimentation and group criticism, the space as a whole felt incomplete and disjointed. This caused us to re-evaluate how we worked as a group and thus changed our approach to our individual practices which then led to a new way of curating our collaborative exhibition space.

For further details see Hazel and Ellie’s Artist Statements which can be found on their blogs:

https://hazellewisfarley.wordpress.com

https://ellieslaneyart.wordpress.com

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