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Transcript of Disruptive Narratives
The drive to re-define the concepts of belonging, potential, roots and desire is the inspiration behind the Disrupted Narratives exhibition.
The never ending metamorphosis of reality and perception and modern anxieties about the reliability and validity of personal memory force us to question the idea of identity as an anchor that links the narratives of past, present and future. Six artists: Fiona Carson, Katie Gilman, Ann Haycock, Carole Luby, Sue Mancholas, and Yewande Okuleye use painting, performance, installation, film and drawing to take us with them on a journey of discovery.
In the search for meaning, through the investigation of form, space and place, six women try to conquer the disruptions in the communication between us, our hopes and others. The twists and turns of this quest throw up unexpected revelations: one artist found a long lost relative; another is interrogating Facebook as a site to explore forgotten memories.
A must - see.
AVA Gallery, University of East London.
Private View 28th April 2009.
Exhibition 26th April- 4 May 2010
Fiona Carson: Curator
My work in this exhibition is from the series Sixty by Degrees. The series title refers
both to age, and the temperature at which wool felts in a washing machine. This
group of works refers to different kinds of everyday ritual activity; washing clothes,
going for walks in the local woods and parks with friends, and knitting. These
feminine domestic activities underpin another iconography that opposes nature to
culture and refers to an animistic engagement with nature in the form of birds,
insects and sea creatures. Hence the titles Butterfly Fetish, Oceanic Fetish, Cowled
Figure, Owlet. Placing these constructions back into a landscape environment that
they were inspired by, changes them, as they are affected by place, time and
seasonal change. Important to the process is the intuitive shaping of the material and
an aspiration to create objects that are ambiguous presences in the landscape. In
Snowbound, they are grouped together as if they were at an ancient shamanistic
site, referencing ancestor worship, proxies for a lost sense of continuity and place.
I like to tear up, reconstruct, weave, plait, knot, sew, pour and draw. Found, recycled
and donated materials can introduce an element of chance or limitation, stimulating
the unconscious. Forms emerge which reference the natural world, the body, family
dynamics, the unconscious. The work inhabits the spaces between textiles, sculpture
and painting. The visual and tactile senses are dominant but sometimes displaced
into unusual materials or subverted by confrontation or warding off as in fetishes and
talisman. Look but dont touch. Touch but dont look.
Katie Gilman was born in Tasmania, Australia and moved to England with her family
as a baby.
Her work involves an investigation of form, space and place; a search for meaning
and understanding articulated through placement, repetition and process which is
deeply rooted in her physical and emotional experience of the world as an adopted
person. She is driven by the urge to ritualistically define and explore the formal
qualities of materials, objects and spaces in a quest to understand her own place in
This work was originally made for Deptford X 2008. Drawing on the history of rope making in Deptford the artist arduously produced rope by hand from rolls of sleek, shiny black bin bags which were plaited together repeatedly to form chunky, twisted ropes and coiled and wrapped into a large circular form which was sited on a roundabout in Deptford during the festival. The title of the work 10,597 denoted the distance in miles between Deptford and Tasmania - the birthplace of the artist and final destination of convict boats that sailed from Deptford in the early to mid nineteenth century. For the Disrupted Narratives exhibition the work is transported approximately four miles along the Thames to the UEL Docklands campus and re-presented in this new context. Re-titled 10,593 to mark this onward journey the work continues the artists exploration of connections between site (London Docklands) and her place of birth. In this case the significance of East India Docks (a short distance from the gallery) revealed itself during research as Abel Tasman the first European to have sight of Tasmania in 1642 named the island Van Diemens Land in honour of the Governor of the Dutch East India Company. Katie Gilman graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the University of East London in
2006. Since graduation she has taken part in numerous exhibitions including: Re-
member (Ada St Gallery, Bethnal Green July 2006), Open wide and say art (Trinity
Buoy Wharf, Docklands, September 2006), Deptford X Showcase 2006 (APT Gallery
Nov 2006), Deadweight, public art work commissioned by Deptford X 2007, Climate
of Change (Union Street, SE1, November 2007), Random Drift (Et Cetera Gallery,
Hackney June 2008), and 10,597, a public art work commissioned by Deptford X
Katie Gilman 10597
Katie Gilman Deadweight
Ann Haycock graduated from UEL in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. She is at
present undertaking an MA in Fine Art at University College Falmouth where she is
researching everyday items such as clothes and seeds. For the exhibition Disrupted
Narrative Haycock is showing two pieces of work, Mound and bite/spit.
For the installation Mound, Haycock has transported from Cornwall, her collection of
second hand clothes along with forty packets of cress seeds. She is interested in
disturbing our sense of the norm, so instead of soil, the seeds will be planted in
amongst the clothes. During the exhibition, Disruptive Narrative, Haycock will invite
staff and students to water the heap of clothes thereby enabling the seeds to
germinate and grow into a harvest of edible cress. The artist sees Mound as an
interface between people and their reactions to the natural world. Through the care
of an inanimate object, made from old clothes which have an unknown history, new
life will spring forth, and in so doing, encourage a fresh exchange of ideas.
About a month ago the artist was seen sitting quietly in the corner of the seminar
room at University College Falmouth wearing clothes which were covered in cress
seedlings. This was the beginning of a performance and film titled bite/spit. Instead
of joining in the debate she started to eat the cress when a positive remark was
made by one of the MA staff or students with regards to her work. Negative
comments however drew a very different response from the artist, one of biting the
cress and spitting it out. The artists disruptive, clownish behaviour allowed her to
enter into the discussion even though she was not using a spoken language.
Ann Haycock is interested in exploring various channels of communication and
combining them with actions and reactions. She says that during daily life these
activities often go unnoticed, but when singled out, they take on new and interesting
With three years of making live work since leaving UEL in Carlisle, Newcastle,
London, Israel and Turkey under her belt, Carole Luby has an on-going dialogue
with her body within the physicality of time.
For disrupted narratives at UEL the body comes alive and finds a temporary place
in landscape. The journey, the persistent searching and longing; repetition and the
unfulfilled desire for contact is still situated within the body depicting moments in time
that represent change and transitions between memory and reality.
My practice attempts to unravel accepted or familiar concepts about inner and outer
worlds. Thus the work is a temporal site of rehearsal or potential where infinite
solutions might yet be within my grasp whilst making an allowance for unforeseen
events to change or challenge the nature of the work. You might call it a kind of
alchemical process where my tentative and improvisational activity might emerge as
an actualised artwork. Or, perversely it may demystify the practice by revealing the
mess and uncertainty which precedes and is a part of the work itself.
Sue Manchoulas art seeks to engage with space and sight and sound, to navigate
between art and music. Starting with a disjointed personal history, Sue seeks to
recreate a sense of a disrupted narration from unrelated materials, including a 10
metre long graphic score, percussionist, Caz Wolfson, playing directly onto the paper
manuscript, personal images and the building itself.
From her personal history; Sue was Australian born to a Chinese father and
Australian mother, and adopted into an Australian family when 7 years old; the artist
is attempting to create a cohesive story. Her work for Disrupted Narratives will be a
performance piece, in which a narrative conversation emerges between, building,
manuscript and percussionist. Ignoring the disruptions between the materials, and
treating each material with equal narrative impor