everywhere you notice,
how much your opposite tears & sinks
G39 Gallery, Cardiff (2018)
Sightseers Exhibition // Venice Residency
I dismantle and I reconstruct.
In the instance of ‘everywhere you notice, how much your opposite, tears & sinks’, it is an action that became compulsive.
Collage for me is an extension of drawing, a tool for interrogating site, surface and space. Responding to my experience living in Venice, the images I created are composed of layered, deconstructed prints; an ensemble of historic paintings and postcards bought in the city. Distorting the lineage of these prints by continuously adding and removing, cutting and layering, became an apt metaphor for Venice itself. Beneath the city’s vibrant façade, I observed a tension, a friction between old and new.
A selection of these collages were exhibited at G39 Gallery in April 2018 for 'Sightseers', a collection of work produced by invigilators at the Venice Biennale in 2017.
" There is a difference between visiting a place and living in a place. When visiting a place, everything becomes exotic, its otherness is made more tangible by our fleeting experience of it. For a short amount of time our rituals and habits and ways of being that tick-tock our everyday lives are replaced. In this new place we sleep at different times, we eat different food, we look at the world differently. Venice is an oasis, a mirage, a shimmering watery floating/ not floating place of looking seeing smelling and experiencing life differently. It is all there for our consumption - for a short amount of time before we turn and leave it.
But being there for a job, for an extended period of time, its customs become ours. We experience Venice in new ways. We are neither natives or tourists anymore and our passage through the city is irritated by the slow-gazing, bridge-stopping drift of sightseers that we were once a part of. We need the launderette, to get to work, and to move more efficiently. We wake up there.
In May 2017 the Wales in Venice exhibition, James Richards: Music for the gift curated by Hannah Firth was launched. g39 has been working with the group of artists, writers and curators who were invigilators at the venue in Venice for the length of the show. They have been immersed in the show, keeping everything going, speaking to visitors, and locals, responding to the culture, language, history, the city of Venice, James' show and the other Biennale exhibitions.
They have also been spending time in Venice developing new work and research and we have invited them to present it at g39. This exciting group of artists and curators will show in an exhibition which questions the conventions of the group exhibition. The works here will interact with each other; rather than stand on their own, the collection of individual objects becomes one overarching experience.
It has been curated as a varied collection of artworks, artefacts, objects, sounds and actions and research, where each occupies the same space. Reflecting on an eclectic and domestic curatorial approach we’ve created a model of the artists shared domestic space as a framework to combine and assemble the work. This is a replica of the space where the invigilators lived, on the strange isle of Certosa in the Venetian lagoon" - G39 Gallery, Cardiff.