My sculpture in RECORDS a Video Jam exhibition at Soup Kitchen Manchester opening tonight

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A sculpture I’ve made will be shown in RECORDS an exhibition curated by Video Jam at Soup Kitchen in Manchester.  Opening tonight at 6pm the exhibition presents an interesting selection of work all made by artists and musicians in response to the theme of ‘records’.

The sculpture I have made is titled ‘Repeat Female Form’. Record sleeves depicting female vocalists with exposed flesh, flowing hair and glossy lips have been sliced, coiled and hand stitched into a sculptural form. The sculpture subverts the technique of quilling, which involves cutting strips of paper and coiling them into shapes to decorate domestic objects.

Since the eighteenth century quilling has been associated with ‘ladies of leisure’, when women who did not need to work began practicing intricate laborious techniques to pass time and demonstrate their femininity. Quilling was described in 1786 in The New Lady’s Magazine: “It affords an amusement to the female mind capable of the most pleasing and extensive variety; and at the same time, it conduces to fill up a leisure hour with an innocent recreation.”[1]

Repeat Female Form’ resembles a decorative flower, the sculptural shapes suggest female genitalia in a celebration of the female body, but the flashes of skin, hair and lips also allude to the consistent and ever increasing sexualisation of women in the music industry. The record sleeves feature Tammy Wynette, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, En Vogue, The Three Degrees and Sister Sledge.

[1] The history of Quilling – Quilling Guild. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: http://quilling-guild.weebly.com/the-history-of-quilling.html. [Accessed 12 April 2014].

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Tape Measure Film in New York and forthcoming residency in Barcelona with Hannah Leighton Boyce

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The line up for Mono No Aware VI  in Brooklyn, New York, has been announced and I’m really pleased to be part of it again. Last year, with financial support from MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University and funding from the event, I was lucky enough to travel to New York to create an installation made from woven super 8mm film. This year the event runs on Friday 6th and  Saturday 7th December, with my work exhibited on Saturday night.

Tape Measure Film was also recently shown at Paper Gallery in Manchester, as pictured above, read a review of the exhibition by Corridor 8 here. It is relatively new piece of work, a 16mm black and white film loop with optical sound, hand made through a cameraless process in the dark room. The filmstrip functions as a tape measure of 60 inches or 152 cm, but becomes a moving image when projected, with the inch marks creating optical sound. It rejects the durational measurement of the frame line, instead emphasising film as spatial material. The numbers and letters appear and disappear at speed within the frame, alluding to countdown leader, but deny the correct orientation and never appear for long enough to create any discernible order or narrative. The short loop runs through the projector, measuring its mechanical internal space repeatedly, until the sprocket holes on the film begin to slip and judder as they wear out.  Through projection, the loop becomes a measure of the finite life of film itself.

The whole experience of going to Mono No Aware last December was fantastic, so many lovely film folks to meet and great work on show celebrating the materiality of film. Within half an hour of arriving from my flight, I was taken to Cabin in a Loft where Terri and Adam were welcoming friendly hosts, along with their very affectionate cat. They also work together as artists, check their work out here http://www.eternitystew.com/

Mono No Aware run workshops and support artists working with film, as well as organising this annual supercharged bonanza of cinematic goodness. Steve Cossman, one of the organisers of the exhibition, was surprised to find out I had never actually shot any film, and promptly brought me a super 8mm camera to play with for my first morning exploring New York. So I shot my first film roaming the concrete jungle and had it processed at Pac Lab for about $14!!! Wish processing was this price in the UK…  The technicians at Lightspace Studios were also really helpful with installing the work, and the venue was packed both nights.

I would love to go back this year, but I am on a residency in Barcelona with another Manchester based artist Hannah Leighton-Boyce, promising equally exciting unfound treasures. During the three week residency at La Escocesa,  which has also been organised with support from Islington Mill, we plan to explore the overlaps and common ground between our practices. We both have backgrounds in textiles, but have moved into working with photographic apparatus, materials, light and space.  Hannah and I will keep a blog, exhibit work at the end of the residency, and give an artist talk. Find out more here. I’m keen to seek out other artists working with analogue film in Barcelona,  I’m hoping to discover more when I get there, as the research I’ve done so far hasn’t been fruitful. I’m sure there’s some peeps out there. Maybe they’re just fiddling around in a darkroom, or off out shooting film, and not on the internet…

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Tape Measure, a 16mm black and white film loop on show in Manchester at Paper Gallery

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I’ve been working on a new 16mm black and white film called ‘Tape Measure’.

Above is an image of the filmstrips fresh from the dark room.

It was first exhibited as part of a group show with Dave Griffiths, Joe Duffy, Sam Meech ands Chris Paul Daniels at Rogue Open Studios from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th September 2013.

It’s currently on show at Paper Gallery, Manchester in an exhibition called Interim Paper #9, showcasing work by MA and PhD research students from MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University. The exhibition has been curated by Laura Guy and Simon Woolham, with Laura writing an essay and creating a reader of accompanying annotated text from each artist.

The exhibition is open on Saturdays from 11am until 5pm running until 17th November 2013 or by appointment.

Tape Measure, a 16mm black and white film loop:

60 inches

152cm

197 frames

played at 18 frames per second = 10.94 seconds duration, with 18 frames = 1 second = 13.5cm 

played at 24 frames per second = 8.2 seconds duration with 24 frames = 1 second = 18.1cm

The millimetres in the optical sound track of the film create a humming noise

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50ft of Sound and Light – an expanded cinema performance

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For the first time ever I will be creating a live expanded cinema performance on Saturday 8th June. If you’ve ever wondered what combining a sewing machine, a 16mm film projector, fifty feet of clear film leader and a loop station might sound and look like…then the answer is this! The work has been selected for the Be Live event at the Penthouse in Manchester, a not for profit artspace co-run by Roseanne Robertson and Debbie Sharpe.

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Event at The Royal Standard on Saturday 30th March #Misdirectmovies

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On Saturday 30th March my work ‘Selected Scenes Woven From Star Wars IV A New Hope and V The Empire Strikes Back’ will be shown at an event at The Royal Standard in Liverpool. I meet regularly with a group of like-minded artists who work with the moving image in various formats at Rogue Studios in Manchester. The group meets under the name of Film-Material-Soup. The event is a spin off of the exhibition, Misdirect Movies which runs until Sunday 31st March, and is curated by Andrew Bracey and John Rimmer. The show has some great work from the curators (who are also practicing artists), plus Rosa Barba’s printed cinema books, Kathy Lomax who paints film diaries, Elizabeth McAlpine who has used the film ‘Don’t Look Now’ taking all the blinks of an eye out of it, John Reed’s looped projection and Dave Griffiths, a Film-Souper founding member who has made a work using cue-dots and microfiche. The event on Saturday 30th March will feature work from Ben Gwilliam, Clara Kasian, Jenny Baines, Dave Griffiths and there will be a handpainted 16mm film workshop as part of the Unravel project by Chris Paul Daniels.

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Mono No Aware VI, New York, December 2012

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Here’s photographs showing work at Mono No Aware VI in Brooklyn, New York. The slide show of images includes my installation made from woven super 8mm film, ‘Selected Scenes Woven From Star Wars IV A New Hope and Star Wars V The Empire Strikes Back’, plus

- a cycle powered zoetrope by Jodie Mack

- a 16mm four projector looped film installation by Robert Howsare (who also has made this amazing turntable drawing machine I have just discovered!)

- a super 8mm looped film installation by Miro Hoffmann

- a super 8mm four projector performance by Tara Nelson

AND a 16mm 9 projector performance by Kristin Reeves

Looking back I’m so glad that I was invited to show my work and meet all the other brilliant inspiring artists and filmmakers. It was amazing!

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Test Strip Teasers – Preview of photography being shown at Kraak Gallery on Saturday

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Throwing a few crumbs to lure people to the exhibition at Kraak Gallery by the One Five Eight collective.

Here are three test strips giving a sample of the work made by myself and Helen Peart. The exhibition opens from 2pm on Saturday for one day only. All prints are for sale and are 100% delicious for the eyeballs.

After the exhibition, there’s also DJs making a racket, drinks and dancing etcetera in Kraak Space from 10pm til late.

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