News

June 2021: Matter Out of Place

Foreground: ‘A Seat at the Table’, found chair and table, steel, vinyl, concrete, silver-plate ladle.
Wall work by Artworks South Yorkshire artists.
Photo: Laura Page

After many months of planning, socially distanced artistic exchanges and working in collaboration, the women’s artist collective Material Voice that I am a member of are holding our second exhibition.

Matter Out of Place is on show at
Yorkshire Artspace Persistence Works, 21 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS.
17th June – 10th July 2021.
The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am – 5 pm.

There is a socially distanced preview event on 23rd June, 5 – 8pm, with a screening of a new film made by photographer Laura Page in response to the show.

45-minute sessions can be booked in advance at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/matter-out-of-place-preview-film-screening-tickets-159407370737 

Finding ways to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic, Sheffield-based collective Material Voice have been experimenting with socially distanced ways of collaboration by giving each other sculptural prompts to respond to; a process that has challenged and enhanced our individual art practices.

This exchange has been extended to include artists with learning disabilities at Burton Street Arts and ArtWorks South Yorkshire. Working with everyday materials provided by Material Voice, the participants have created artworks that reinterpret existing understandings of form and function.

Inspired by these exchanges and exploring the theme Matter Out of Place, Material Voice artists have created new individual and collaborative sculptural works for this exhibition that question ideas of disruption, control, risk and trust. These are exhibited alongside work made by everyone who engaged with this project, creating a dynamic, multi-voiced body of work.

I am showing ‘A Seat at the Table’, the piece in the image, works made in collaboration with Clee Claire Lee and works with all members of the collective.

April 2021: Arts Council funding!

I am delighted to have received a grant from Arts Council England as part of their Developing Your Creative Practice fund.

My project is to extend my sculpture skills to explore casting methods so that I can cast found objects in multiples to create forms that become raw material for new works. 

Part of the funding would pay for two courses of mould-making and casting with London Sculpture Workshop.

I will then spend time in the studio experimenting with the skills and processes I have learnt to develop my own personal language that can be used in future works for exhibition and commission. 

I wish to cast multiples of artefacts in order to disrupt and reinterpret their value and meaning within sculptural constructions. Once cast the forms may be further transformed and degraded so they take on new roles within the sculpture, bringing a new vocabulary to my work and revealing new narratives.

December 2020: Winter Group Show, Linden Hall Studio

On the left – ‘Not a Column’, 2020 steel, teak, concrete, stainless steel teapot.
Photo: Mike Owen

I am delighted to have been selected for the Winter Group Show 2020/21 at Linden Hall Studio in Deal, Kent. It’s an impressive roster of artists including many artists whom I have known or known of since I was a student.

List of artists in show

The work I am showing is ‘Not a Column’, 2020.

Alexandra Harley and Sheila Volmer from This Stuff Matters, the discussion forum and exhibiting group of four women sculptors that I am part of, are in the exhibition too.

January 2020: Opening Matters

Work by L-R Sheila Volmer, Gillian Brent, Alexandra Harley, Sheila Volmer

I am one of four women sculptors from London and the North who have formed the discussion forum and exhibiting group This Stuff Matters. We first met as a group in 2019, through participating in an experimental mixed group show in London – Testing 123…, curated by John Bunker. 

Myself, Jill Gibson, Alex Harley and Sheila Vollmer had our inaugural show and artist talk Opening Matters on 31st January 2020, taking place at @unit3projects, East London. This event was opportunity for the four artists to engage together in critical reflection and debate about new work, and their practice and position as experienced women sculptors in the current contemporary art scene. 

The conversation was recorded and can be found at http://stuff-matters.co.uk

September 2019: ‘What is the Matter? Materials, Commodities, Narratives’

‘Work Life Balance’
steel, acrylic, Valchromat
Dixon’s workshop, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield

The exhibition by the Material Voice collective at Kelham Island Museum has been a great success, with over 150 people attending the opening and many more visiting. Myself and the six other women artists from the collective have been delighted by the response from museum visitors, other artists and reviewers.

https://www.ourfaveplaces.co.uk/whats-on/what-is-the-matter/What is the Matter?

I presented ‘Work Life Balance’, a work in two parts; a 1.6m sculpture placed amongst the machinery and noise of one of the museum’s workshop displays, and an installation of nearly 200 table knives throughout the reconstruction of a 1916 kitchen.

It was fascinating researching in the museum’s stores and collection and an invigorating experience having such a powerful context to respond to and exhibit work.

Read more here: Material Voice

Detail, ‘Work Life Balance’
knives from the Hawley Collection
1916 kitchen, Kelham Island Museum

August 2019: Material Voice

In 2018 sculptor Sarah Villeneau and I invited five other artists to join us in Material Voice, a collective of Sheffield based women artists www.materialvoice.com

The collective were awarded funding by Making Ways sheffieldcityofmakers.co.uk/category/making-ways for some peer mentoring sessions amongst ourselves and with Nottingham based Curator Abi Spinks.

We then applied successfully for funding from Arts Council England for our first exhibition which is in partnership with Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum

From 12 – 29 September 2019, sculptural works by artists from the Material Voice collective will be shown amongst the displays at Kelham Island Museum.

How do the resonances of Sheffield’s material history manifest themselves in the globalised and digital world of the 21st century?  How might the voices of women contemporary artists working in Sheffield be understood through explorations and readings of the power of materials to convey aspects of the city’s past, present and future? 

Material Voice have responded to artefacts and stories from the Museum’s displays and collections by making sculptural works that give new perspectives and interpretations. 

December 2018: portraits by Mark Howe

My studio neighbour at Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works is Mark Howe, a photographer who specialises in portraits and narrative photography. He took some images of me in my studio.

www.markhowe.co.uk
@howiehowe

November 2018: Strength Within Us

Text on cushions written by women from the Loudspeaker programme at Nottingham Contemporary.

I deliver the Loudspeaker programme and facilitated the women who are currently attending in producing this text for gallery cushions for  ‘Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance’. The exhibition runs until 27th January 2019.

‘We are a wide variety of women from different walks of life. We come to weekly workshops to create and interpret art, taking steps to be stronger more resilient women.

To create this work we all thought of words we could identify with, which we pooled. The words were randomly given out and we worked together to put them into shared observations.’ Gallery label

‘We’ve got our work in the museum. It’s weird.  There’s proper artists and then us. We are just basic everyday people. This is giving us a voice, not just the artists’. Loudspeaker participant.

The Loudspeaker programme is delivered as part of the Opportunity and Change project which is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.