©2018 All work is copyright the artist, no reproduction without permission

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On this page are images of performance works in progress, being tested in front of an audience or to camera, when taking part in professional development workshops. The pictures are usually taken from phone stills or video and some are not of great quality but they act as documentation of an often hidden part of art making, the sharing of new ideas with colleagues and the encouragement by them to experiment and to try new ways of working and to articulate the learning. 

Artists need solitude to think and to find out what they want to make but we also need networks of witness and support as we do so. By coming together to make spaces of trust in which to reveal ourselves and our art in the raw - before it is refined for exhibition or presentation, we help one another as we become braver in our art making and we grow our art practice. There is always the possibility too of making new work together and that is often a rich and rewarding experience. I am grateful to all the artist colleagues who have invited me to hear their ideas and to share my own whilst they are tentative and un-tested. Their observations, reflections and friendship help me to feel my way towards the art I am waiting to make and to do it more authentically. 

“Reframing the “Sentimental” in the Art of the Maternal workshops  by Desperate Artwives

Reframing the "Sentimental" in the Art of the Maternal were three workshops held at Platform 1 Gallery London between April and June 2018 culminating in an Open Day when works were shared with the public. 

The workshops were led by artists Dagmara Bilon, Teresa Albor and Katy Howe, all artists and mothers themselves and guided participating artists on a journey to explore the maternal experience, individually and collectively. The aim was to help artists consider different ways of working and to challenge their current practice, with a focus on exploring and uncovering the power of the “sentimental” in the art of the maternal.

http://www.desperateartwives.co.uk/

SHOW HOLES 2

“Reframing the “Sentimental” in the Art of the Maternal workshops  by Desperate Artwives

Workshop 3 : Removing the Motherhood  led by Katy Howe    June 2018

Using throwaway sculptural forms and movement to re-inhabit the visceral landscape of our bodies to reveal what’s underneath the mother-hood.  I develop the SHOW HOLES idea by using drawn decorative frames to place around sites of pain on my body.

SHOW HOLES 1

“Reframing the “Sentimental” in the Art of the Maternal workshops  by Desperate Artwives

Workshop 2 : Note to Self  led by Teresa Albor    June 2018

Exploring list making and the necessity of them to manage the thousands of small tasks that constitute  the lives of families. Working with the body as repository of memory. SHOW HOLES 1 made holes in my trousers to reveal my left knee, a site of pain on my body, and placed on it words I wish I had said to my deceased parents.  

WONKY

“Reframing the “Sentimental” in the Art of the Maternal workshops  by Desperate Artwives

Workshop 1 : Choreography of Motherhood led by Dagmara Bilon    April 2018

Using movement improvisation, automatic writing and drawing to investigate the history and memory of the maternal body and condense exploration into gesture, still or moving image. The cloud brain appears here in a drawn form for the first time. Earlier the cloud featured in the performance CLOUDLY made for International Women’s Day in March and references the essay “The Cloud : Lecturing on Feminist Research” by Anna Wall (NORA: Nordic journal of women’s studies, vol 2 - 3 1999 pp.97-108)

DIG PERFORMANCE ART WEEKEND curated by Clare Carswell and Sam Hall, hosted by Janey and Francis Carline in Wallingford Oxfordshire in May 2018. A group of eleven artists, some new graduates, some mid-career, camped together in an urban garden and made together that responded to it. DIG contributed to The Last Garden of Mystery and Suspense, the last of a series of art in the garden events that Janey Carline had opened to the community over ten years.   

GLOWGIRLGLOW

DIG performance art event Wallingford Oxfordshire   Curated by Clare Carswell and Sam Hall     May 2018

Moving from the conversational and confessional to the performative. Telling a story by the fireside of loss and sadness and then stripping to reveal my middle aged body in a swimsuit.  Asking young colleagues to paint and wrap me in gold and inviting the audience to disco dance with me in an act of self acceptance, celebration of resilience and sheer joy at being alive !

Fireside photographs : Stu Allsopp           Glowing selfie by me

LAPER Live Art Performance Group, curated by Veronica Cordova de la Rosa & Peta Lloyd supports performance art practice in Oxford by curating platform events such as ELASTIC in 2017 and SQUASH & STRETCH IN 2018 and through it's monthly meetings in common spaces offers a platform for artists to trial new ideas and to test performative strategies. It asks what performance art can be and leads discussion on ethics and intention. The group encourages experimentation and improvisation and meetings are open to student or established artists and are a good test bed for trying out new works alongside informed and supportive colleagues. 

SMILE PINKLY

LAPER curated by Veronica Cordova de la Rosa   Common Ground Oxford   March 2018

Development of work giving visibility to the experience of having and maintaining ageing teeth. 

LUCID

LAPER curated by Veronica Cordova de la Rosa   Belvedere Oxford   September 2017

A reflective work to camera that re-lived a dream, and a fervent wish, that the artist had as a child of being a sheep. After grazing, a halo of carrot was grated onto the grass and the artist lay with it. The title refers to lucid dreaming, during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming. 

Photographs : Clare Carswell

The Drink Soda and Drink More Soda platform events in the Fine Art Department at Oxford Brookes University, curated by Sam Hall offered a space for student and established artists to try out new works. 

SMILE 1

DRINK MORE SODA at Oxford Brookes curated by Sam Hall    February 2018

Trialling work for a student audience that shares the trials of gum disease and ageing. Using stand up style narrative with faux burlesque dance moves and projected imagery.

Photographs : Clare Carswell

  
DRINK SODA at Oxford Brookes curated by Sam Hall     November 2017

ReFUEL

A reworking of FUEL, a performance made to camera in the artist's studio in 2010. The artist mourns her deceased Mother as the projected image of her Mother disappears, leaving an outline shape for her to step into. 

 

In ReFUEL the performance, made for a mainly student audience, Clare shares this most profound experience of her mid life, the death of her Mother, and steps into the projection to tenderly interact with the image of herself crying. 

 

This is the first work of her oeuvre that the artist has reprised. 

Photographs : Clare Carswell

Really Truly Madly 

For 'How Do I Look' residency with Grace Grace Grace at Guest Projects London      February 2018

Beginning to make work that reveals the trials, and comedy, of living with ageing teeth and gum disease. Giving visibility to the tyranny of beauty regimes for women in middle age, contrasting them with the ease of appearance enhancing apps. Examining the isolation of the subject as the modified digital image renders the real inferior, treacherous and potentially obsolete.

Photographs : Clare Carswell