Thanks to everyone who came to see Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III] at Shieldfield Art Works. Here are a few photos of the work in situ for those who missed it.
From 4-12 March 2020, Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III] will be exhibited at Shieldfield Art Works as part of their 2020 Take Over Programme. This solo exhibition will bring together a body of work developed over the past 4 years exploring the effect of Alzheimer's disease on the way we see and understand the world around us through the eyes of Martha, a fictional character living with Alzheimer's.
As Martha transitions into a care environment, she re-experiences moments of her life unfolding across surreal stages that resonate with both domestic and care environments. From moments of personal significance to seemingly incidental memories, the competing and intersecting narratives within the work create a complex portrait of Martha’s changing relationships to others, her surroundings and herself.
The overall Take Over Programme will launch on Friday 7 February from 6-8pm and there will be a Preview for the exhibition on Friday 6 March from 6-8pm. For further details about the exhibition programme and gallery opening times, please visit the event page.
I'm really happy to have been selected for the 2019-20 edition of the Newbridge Project's Programme Committee. On the committee, I will be particularly interested in develping events that explore collaborative working and cross-disciplinary practice.
Last night I co-hosted 'Odd Combo', my first event under this role, with fellow artists and collaborators Jill Tate and Theresa Poulton. Over the evening we heard from Lesley Guy, from the collective Totaller, and Helen Shaddock and David Foggo, from the collaborative Marginendeavour, to practically unpick some of the nuts and bolts of collaborative and collective work.
I'm pleased to have been awarded a 2019 a-n Mentoring Bursary to work with visual artist Emilia Telese over the next year to take stock of my practice and point it in the right direction.
Before starting this journey, I cast my mind back to August when I submitted my application. In many ways, it had been a good year. I had just finished de-installing my first solo show outside the North East in Wigan, which after 18 months of development felt like it had really paid off. I'd spent the summer working with an artist as an editor, which has been a new way to consider making work, while earlier in the year I was approached to work on a heritage project with the Discovery Museum, and alongside all this, a new collaboration with two like-minded artists in my studio group was slowly developing.
But it had also been a year with a series of (albeit positive) rejections and having reached a turning point where I would like to pursue a new direction for my practice, positioning my new ideas against previous work has been challenging. Understanding rejection is part and parcel of the artist experience, it is difficult to see nothing new in sight and by August I was feeling burnt out and a bit deflated. And so as I wrote my application - full of hope and panic - I wanted to understand where I was falling short.
Cut to November, and the future is brighter and after a bit of time out new work and new projects have started to develop. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings, and to having someone to share the journey with...
Next Wednesday 6th November I'll be co-hosting Odd Combo, an informal and open forum exploring the nuts and bolts of collaborative and collective practice at the Newbridge Project: Newcastle.
The event will be a roundtable discussion introduced by artists Theresa Poulton, Jill Tate, and myself, and is an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with other artists with a shared interest in working collaboratively and collectively.
We will be joined by artists Helen Shaddock, David Foggo and Lesley Guy who will share their own experience and learning from their work on collaborative projects. We welcome individuals with any level of experience or interest in collaborative practice to join the discussion or listen in!
For times, dates and accessibility information, visit the Facebook Event.
Last October, I was fortunate enough to attend Culture Action Europe's annual conference Beyond the Obvious in Timisoara, Romania, for 2 days of insightful talks, discussion and debate. With the title Ctrl+Shift HUMAN: Arts, Sciences and Technologies in Coded Societies, the conference interrogated the segregation of spheres in which ideas circulate online, the fragmentation of cultural digital content and the cultural and social effects of new global content platforms.
Across the conference, I was part of a team of rapporteurs alongside Cristina da Milano, president of ECCOM and Board member of Culture Action Europe; Andrea Carter, D6: Culture in Transit and Paula Graham-Gazzard, Director of Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), sharing my subjective reflections on the keynotes and breakout sessions. These reflections form part of a new conference publication, edited by Ramón Sangüesa from the University of Catalonia. Click here to read the publication.
As we move into what remains of the summer, I'm looking forward to being part of Pineapple Black's Summer Exhibition Pick 'n' Mix, a cross-media exhibition of work by artists based in the North East, taking place in Middlesbrough. I will be presenting my new video work Reset from the series Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III], and Searchlights from my recent project Between States. Find out exhibition dates and more by visiting the event page.
Reset , Video Installation [still]
This week I (virtually) sat down for a little Q&A with Jakub Jezerski from the Wigan STEAM team around my current exhibition Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III] to talk being an artist, working with Alzheimer's and sci-fi.
Through the very specific lens of Martha (a fictional character living with Alzheimer’s) and those close to her, Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III] aims to gently explore changes in perception, autobiographical and spatial memory and behaviour common to Alzheimer’s in a way that is human and – I hope – resonates with people’s lived experiences; alongside more universal questions around care, how we determine what is real and what is not, and how we define our relationships with each other and the world around us. I hope that by enabling new ways of thinking about Alzheimer’s, Martha might inspire ways of living better and more inclusively.
Click here to read the interview.
Reset , Video Installation [still]
In just over 2 weeks Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III] will open at Wigan STEAM. Featuring new film Reset alongside other work from the series Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III], this exhibition brings together video installation work exploring the effect of Alzheimer’s disease on the way we see, interpret and understand the world around us through the eyes of Martha, a fictional character living with Alzheimer’s.
Drawing on research into autobiographical and spatial memory and the behavioural and psychological features of Alzheimer’s, Martha [Alzheimer’s Machine III] weaves together competing and intersecting narratives that present conflicting accounts of Martha’s experiences. Collectively, they examine the complex spaces autobiographical memory, account, fact and fiction that underpin conscious recollection meet.
The exhibition will open on Saturday 18 May and continue until 6 July, with a workshop and preview evening on 24 May from 7-9pm and a series of family workshops to take part in across across the summer. If you find yourself in Wigan over the summer, please come and say hello!
Martha [Alzheimer's Machine III] is kindly supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Wigan STEAM, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Wigan Archives and Local Studies, Wigan Council and Wigan Dementia Action Alliance.
I'm very pleased to have been invited by artist and curator Louise Mackenzie to screen my Arts Council England funded video Visualisation of Beta Amyloid Growth, Cortical Slice as part of Black Box at the Institute of Genetic Medicine in Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne. It will appear during Life Week, in a programme of moving image work that asks if and how life can be shaped, alongside work by artists Nipam Patel, White Feather Hunter, Louise Mackenzie, Cecelia Johnsson and Dr. Rodrigo Leite de Oliviera, Laura Harrington, Ursula Biemann, Vicky Smith and Louise Hervé and Cholé Maillet. I will also present Interrupt Cycle: Exhausting the Scenario during Intimacy Week, in a programme exploring the relationships between mind, body and society alongside work by Marissa Keating, Christine Borland, Marianne Wilde, Beverley Hood, Adura Onashile, Aleks Cicha, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Alexey Marfin, Daksha Patel, Lilian Mehrel, Stelarc, Viktoria Modesta and work from the Wellcome Trust collection.
Black Box is a joint project by The Cultural Negotiation of Science and the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University. Opening the door on the inner workings of genetic research, Black Box is a curated programme of film works inspired by and expanding upon genetic themes. The programme showcases films by artists and researchers involved in a creative and critical engagement with the field of genetic medicine alongside films produced by scientists that provide insight into the research that takes place within the Institute.