The Encircling of a Shadow
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This was a solo exhibition, commissioned by Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall, following my participation in previous seasons of performance art at the gallery. The commission gave me the opportunity to further my research into the ways in which site-specific elements can be juxtaposed to bring new or unrecognized aspects of the site into view. It continued explorations into the liminal nature of the coastline and its location at the socio-cultural and geophysical boundaries of fixed and fluid, home and away, foreign and domestic. The exhibition combined video, performance, text and social engagement, shown as interrelated strands in three different locations: Newlyn Art Gallery, Penlee House, Penzance and on the foreshore at Newlyn. Its various forms constituted one body of work, resulting from six months local research, collecting material from the physical environment, archives, and groups, including Porthcurno Museum of Submarine Telegraphy, Trinity House Corporation, and the Marazion Male Voice Choir. Each strand in the exhibition combined different forms of material collected over the six months, e.g., a list of ninety women’s names, each the name of a boat in the local fishing fleet, (1) presented on Newlyn Gallery wall, (2) signalled out to sea in morse (accompanied by a local male voice choir), and (3) a video work of morse signalling installed within the historic art collection of Penlee House. The research significance of the exhibition was that, through its combination of diverse bodies of evidence, it allowed the viewer to navigate through and across material which, if experienced in isolation, would have remained culturally and historically unrecognized. The exhibition was previewed in Contemporary Visual Arts and included in the Guardian Guide exhibition listings, 12-18 May 2001. A further combination of elements from the project appeared as artist's pages in the journal Performance Research 6 (2001) pp. 89-92.
Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, pp.6
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