dollhouse – work in progress
Exploring and shedding meaningful objects; an ongoing process.
My First Crush
2010 South Bank Arts Trail, Bristol.
My first crush was Captain Scarlet.
Who was yours?
I collected people’s stories of their first crush via facebook and twitter, submitted as text or sound recordings starting with the words ‘My First Crush’. Text and related images were then printed out to create a First Crush Wall that people could add to over the weekend of the Arts Trail. All contributions could be made anonymously via email too.
A Reason for Being In Berlin
2009, at Britain’s Rubbish, a Decima exhibition in Berlin.
This series of photo-collages made in collaboration with Harriet Fleuriot were a mix of photos that I had taken when living in Berlin in the winter/spring of 1990, and photos that Harriet had taken when she was staying in Berlin in the summer of 2005. We then superimposed the illustration of an embracing couple from Penny Jordan’s Mills & Boon book A Reason For Being on the older photos, and Harriet re-enacted this embrace with artist Duncan McGonigle and superimposed this onto her photos.
Underneath the framed photos we had a pile of Mills & Boon paperbacks with postcard versions of the images neatly tucked into each book and sealed in plain brown envelopes, with “TAKE ME NOW, I’M FREE” written above. As soon as Harriet wrote this on the wall during the private view they were devoured.
Why this illustration you ask? Why give books away? A Reason For Being was the romance novel that publisher Mills and Boon decided to give away for free to East German women after the Berlin wall came down, an entire 750,000 translated copies no less.
We felt that somehow this had been a little unnoticed within stories of the wall, and if noticed then dismissed, no doubt seen as trashy fiction that had little effect in the grand political scheme of things – one Independent writer dismisses these books as “Liquid Narcotic”. But this genre of fiction gets read by millions of women worldwide and undoubtedly affects their perceptions of sex, relationships, men, family, careers, so it then follows that perhaps a woman’s experience and opinions on these things in turn are also a little dismissed.
We liked the idea that these books were seen as being dumped on the women in East Germany and the idea that you could give away romance for free and that romance will always be very much an important part of political dramas and we liked the apparent novelty of our mother/daughter collaboration but also that the way in which we connect with one another was reflected in the nostalgic nature of the work….
And of course we felt this all tied in rather nicely with the “Britain’s Rubbish” concept.
1998 at Dreamhouses New Media Exhibition, Fstop Gallery, Bath and 2000 Losing The Plot, group show at Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham literary festival (both shows with Liz Milner, Terryl Bacon, Jon Dovey, Martin Rieser)
featherhouse: A glass house etched with swan feathers that allow a peek inside the house, where a video plays of swans in flight captured within, creating a flickering blue light through the gallery space. The moving image and accompanying voiceover are a lament to lost freedoms, triggered by the proximity of the visitor, who has come close enough to hear.
2000 Losing The Plot, group show at Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham literary festival
constance is a projection piece using sensors to pause and resume the piece – an unseen hand writes ‘constance’, over and over, only pausing to hush noisy visitors to the gallery space, then resuming its repetitive writing, a meditation on the effect of interruption on a mother’s creative output.