Archive for the 'Sculpture' Category

Embryonic Film Project at Islington Mill’s Say Something Series

Jennifer McDonald and I are undertaking a residency at Islington Mill to begin a collaborative film project. This was our starting point:

Embryonic Film Project

2nd June

Louise Woodcock and Jennifer McDonald are artists working predominantly in installation and performance. Sharing similar concerns, Louise and Jennifer explore concepts of gender, being particularly influenced by Julia Kristeva’s seminal work Powers of Horror. Over the past year, Louise and Jennifer have collaborated on a performance piece developing sound objects – hollow plaster ‘eggs’ that are played with a variety of tools, including bones and nails. Both artists further founded Womb – a collective of female musicians, which has up to twelve members per session.

On recently discovering the work of Derek Jarman, Louise and Jennifer are using their week in residency at Islington Mill to embark on a new film project. In their first use of film Jennifer and Louise will draw together a number of recent influences.

Having arrived back from India following a two month residency in the country’s rainforest area Jennifer will bring a selection of her research material, documentation of her travels and Indian instruments to the collaborative project. Having written her degree dissertation on the Upanishads (ancient Indian Philosophical texts) before practicing art, Louise will add a layer of history and philosophy to the project producing a rich mix of imagery and associations.

Jennifer and Louise will use the residency period to develop objects and sets for their film work. Throughout the week Jennifer and Louise will record a variety of acoustic sound, voice and instrumentation, layering the recordings upon a series of film sequences to create an intriguing interplay of audio and visual environments.

An edited version of the film will be publicly screened at the end of their residency period alongside a display of the objects, instruments and constructed sets used throughout the development of the filmwork.

We spent all day yesterday filming around Sabden, around Pendle Hill famous for witch trials. We started by just shooting anything we found appealing. As the day progressed we became more focused and began to perform and use sculptural objects we bought with us in different locations and performances. We used hair and bones in ritualistic style actions.

Jennifer and I will hold a talk tomorrow at 6pm (2 June 2011) at Islington Mill discussing our influences and our working process. The initial edit of the film will be screened on Sunday at Islington Mill. Womb will be performing a live improvisation with the film along with objects that were used.

The initial synopsis (even though we haven’t finished it and don’t quite know the outcome!):
The film features two women (the resident artists Jennifer McDonald and Louise Woodcock) in Pendle Hill, famous for it’s association with the witch trials. The characters perform ritualistically using tribal symbols including animal bones, hair and wool. The film will be displayed with sculptural objects that were used in the film and with a live improvised soundtrack from Womb.

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The Other Room Anthology 3

Series title: “Leftovers”

This is the cover of The Other Room Anthology 3.

The Other Room Anthology 2010/11 features work from Neil Addison, Richard Barrett, derek beaulieu, Adrian Clarke, Emily Critchley, Ian Davidson, Stephen Emmerson, Allen Fisher, Susana Gardner, Ben Gwilliam, Jeff Hilson, Peter Manson, Craig Marchington, Nicole Mauro, Chris McCabe, Maggie O’Sullivan, Posie Rider, Jeffrey C. Robinson, Jerome Rothenberg, Zoe Skoulding, Linus Slug, Nathan Thompson, Joseph Walton and Justin Katko, and Louise Woodcock. Click HERE to buy a copy for £6 including postage within the UK or HEREto buy a copy for £7 including postage anywhere else.

Copies of The Other Room Anthology 2 are still available. Click HERE to buy a copy for £6 including postage within the UK or HERE to buy a copy for £7 including postage anywhere else. The Other Room Anthology 1 is currently out of print.

Exhibition: A Map of You at Text Festival, Bury.

I am over the moon to announce I have been asked to exhibit some of my collage series, ‘Leftovers’ at the Text Festival in Bury, Greater Manchester. This is from the site:

The Text Festival in Bury is an internationally recognised event investigating contemporary language art (poetry, text art, sound and media text, live art). Opening on 29 April 2011, the next Festival will be its third manifestation and run into July.

Against the background of global stylistic multiplicity, the use of language spans many artforms and may even be a unifying field of enquiry, a new definition and a new field of international linguistic art practice and dialogue. The Bury Festival is the leading focus of language in 21st Century art.

The Festival specialises in experiments, in new experiences, in performances and exhibitions that mix artforms in ground-breaking combinations that challenge traditional language art boundaries and offer artists a forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas.

Art Monthly commented of the Festival:

“According to Foucault, the singularities that serve
to rupture and renew normative discourse
always emerge from the interstices – in other words, where nobody is looking. Almost certainly nobody was looking
in the direction of Bury for the emergence of this significant project…”

My work will be exhibited in a show curated by Philip Davenport called A Map of You, part of the Text Festival. Tony Trehy is the overall curator of the Text Festival. The show features truly innovative writers and artists from past and present. I’m very moved to be part of it:

Bury’s newest museum opens its fascinating space and collection to interventions and installations secreted as playful gestures and paratactic commentary. The show will feature works by Matt Dalby, Márton Koppány, Liz Colini, Peter Jaeger & Kaz, Bob Cobbing, participants in the Map of You Project and many more.

Curated by:

Phil Davenport

Commissioned by:

Text Festival & Bury Transport Museum

Ticket Prices:

Adult: £2.80; Child: £1.90; Concession: £1.90;Venue:

Bury Transport Museum

Castlecroft Road

Bury

http://www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk/bury-transport-museum-2/

Collage part 2

I decided to try using red ink as a background possibly or to draw on the text pieces. This turned out to be too cheesy. A bad idea. The simplicity of the pieces and the text was enough and my text written in ink was too literal. These were some of the words I had eaten in the performance. The quietness and subtlety of eating harsh words in the performance works far better than them spelled out in red ink. Too literal and vulgar. Not that I mind vulgar in general but not for this. There is subtlety, haphazardness and complexity that I’m very pleased with. I am always afraid of text in art as I never know whether it actually works. My fear of text is I suppose apt for me to work with as my work deals with fear, my own fears in general. This is quite a scary project for me. I’m happy with the work being made in a haphazard way as I get very nervous about choosing words. I’m terrified of poetry, not reading it but writing it. I think I would drive myself insane if I went at it too much. I prefer the breathing space I’m allowed with visual work as every day it’s something new. It’s not so concrete as the symbol of the word. I’m very free in what I say verbally, but I’m too anxious about writing things down, although I am writing this. I’m not so scared of prose, I have been writing some biographical stuff recently that I have very much enjoyed and been more frank than I ever have before. There are definitely uses for writing for me. I’ve realised I can talk about the wider things, the surface things but the deeper, finer and less graspable/tangible emotional things I need visual work to express. Some people can attain this through words, like poets. My visual work is my poetry I suppose. I would like it to be. I realised reading Heart of Darkness recently how deeply moving and visceral words can be. I forget sometimes, although that probably sounds ridiculous to a lot of people. It’s just like a long poem. Some of it has deeply anti racist sentiment for the time, but due to the time, the descriptive stuff is racist.

Collage for The Other Room Anthology.

I have been asked by The Other Room, the event I performed my eating words performance last December, to submit something for their third yearly anthology. I decided to do some collage work with the left over fragments of pages that were torn out in the eating process. This is something I had planned to do for ages… I really need deadlines! I tried a few ideas and approaches, some with illustrations, some simple, some more complex.

I decided that the more simple but well constructed ones worked best. The illustrations were good but possibly not as striking. These were hung as prints for a few days in my studio and I thank Helen Shanahan, part of my studio group and fellow Womb member, for helping me to decide what initially worked best.

My pledge – Manchester Artist’s Bonfire 28th January 2011

Click for the Manchester Artist’s Bonfire site.
Details of artwork:
I will burn a red wax skull that was part of my degree show installation at University of Salford in 2009. The installation was a personal take on the vanitas still life painting tradition which used the skull to remind us of our mortality and the futility of material things, a Memento mori. I used wax because of its transient nature but used rough layers of vibrant reds to create a rock-like but visceral effect.
The installation consisted of red wax objects on a dressing table opposite a TV on static which was the only light source and its subtle hum and hiss created an intense ‘silence’. My intention was to create a past state of being, a relic of the fear and isolation I felt I had largely overcome.
Pledge:
Vanitas literally means ‘emptiness’. The skull wakes us up; it makes us feel more alive. Burning the skull will be an act of defiance against capitalism and Coalition oppression, the promise of fulfilment through buying and financial gain, manipulating our desires and creative drives to do so. I could sell the skull but instead I choose to burn it; it will be a sacrificial act. I will destroy in order to create, to make art no matter how throttled we become through poverty: by any means necessary.
The skull also represents a crippling fear of mortality I once had, although I will not/cannot abandon this fear altogether as it is vital to my drive to create. The action will be a catharsis on many levels.

Cuts to public funds will make art and artists in this country suffer, but the positive out of the negative, the antithesis to the thesis, could reconnect us with our instinctive creative ‘will’. We may become more in touch with what really moves us irrelevant of monetary concerns. Poverty can inspire, but this is not to condone the impoverishing of artists and the lack of respect this culture has for us as the cuts demonstrate. I hope that we realise we can overcome these obstacles if we maintain our individual and collective passion to create and spur each other on, if we keep on keepin’ on. I hope you will join me in the Danse Macabre.

Project Potato

I discovered a stray potato in my vegetable cupboard. I found it quite disturbing. The fur-like texture on the growths and the vein-like qualities and spiny bits are all quite unsettling. The potato part looked like the shrivelled head of some sort of creepy octopus. It was inspirational. I didn’t know what I would end up with but I knew I wanted to use it for something. I thought I would try taking a mould of it and cast it in plaster.

I knew the tentacles would be a nightmare to mould but I managed to get some tiny fragments which look quite beautiful in delicate plaster.


Louise Woodcock

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