Spanton's practice is cross-disciplinary. Based in Leeds , her work embraces performance, video, photography, dance, sculpture and text. Her solo and collaborative projects are seen in a range of different contexts: such as, movement-led works in a live art setting, site-specific dance installations, performative photography and performance to camera video works.
Solo projects address themes of identity, subjectivity, gender, sexuality and the body. Intimate and often humorous, this work explores emotions, inner worlds and states of mind, frequently driven by autobiographical starting points. Collaborative works are often site or context specific, central concerns include space, process and composition.
Conceptually, many works have explored apparent binary states such as public/private Bridge (2007), Emerge (2000), masculine/feminine 7 Lashes (1994), Tomboy (2001), Heterosexual/Homosexual Homeward Bound (1997), physical/psychological (interior/exterior) Homoeostasis: Fight or Flight (1999). These investigations aim to create a sense of constantly shifting between states of not being fixed and of straddling divides.
Spanton makes evocative works that resonate and engage, allowing viewers to bring their own perspectives to the project. She flirts with audiences, preferring seduction to confrontation, subtly drawing the viewer in.
A multiplicity of meanings emerge from this intensely mobile, intertextual performance.
From Valerie Briginshaw's Dance, Space and Subjectivity, published by Palgrave, Macmillan 2001.
Each meticulous, deliberate movement suggests tight choreography, but as each ending delivers a unique end-sculpture, there is clearly much improvisation, masquerading as design.Here, the vessels of Eva Hesse meet the spatial string diameters of Fred Sandback.Early feminist figuration that re-used fairytale figuration collides with a rigorous minimalist aesthetic. From Cherry Smyth's Catalogue Essay for Princess: Clock Ticking 2006.
Spanton trained initially as a sculptor, making small hand-held mixed media objects, graduating from Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1989. She completed an MA in Dance Theory; representation and somatics at De Montfort University in 2000, looking at issues of sexuality, gender and feminism, relating her cross-disciplinary practice to both feminist and dance theory. Her professional practice is undertaken alongside working freelance as a project manager, developer, consultant and evaluator in the participatory arts sector.
She is also the Development Director of New Work Yorkshire, an organisation providing stimulus, professional development opportunities, visibility, support and signposting for all those who make up the live art/new work sector in the Yorkshire region.
- 2005 Set Apart From Others, Round Foundry Media Centre, Leeds (more info)
- 2000 7 Lashes, Waterstones Bookshop, Leeds (more info)
- 2005 Threshold, Brahm Gallery, Leeds (more info)
- 2005 Spatial Arrangement, Shift & Slack Video Screening, Leeds & Hull (more info)
- 2004 Princess: peepshow fictions, Perambulator (New Work Yorkshire), Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire (more info)
- 1994 7 Lashes and Hook, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds (more info)
- 1994 We Surface and Some 'Other' Men, Crescent Arts, Scarborough (more info)
- 1994 7 Lashes, Berlin, Germany (more info)
- 2010 Princess: Clock Ticking, Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, Sheffield (more info)
- 2008 Red Beast, Hull College, Hull
- 2007 Bridge, Leeds College of Art & Design and Henry Moore Institute Library, Leeds (more info)
- 2006 Princess: Clock Ticking, Patrick Studios Project Space, Leeds (more info)
- 2005 The Performance Pack Performance, Patrick Studios, Leeds (more info)
- 2005 Assemblage, Round Foundry Media Centre, Leeds (more info)
- 2005 Princess: Clock Ticking - development phase, Leeds City Art Gallery & Yorkshire Dance Centre, Leeds (more info)
- 2002 Tomboy, Tacheles Kunsthaus, Berlin
- 2002 Homeward Bound, Tacheles Kunsthaus, Berlin (more info)
- 2001 Tomboy, Yorkshire Dance & Shifty Commuters Cabaret & The Green Room, Leeds, London, Manchester (more info)
- 2000 Emerge, Waterstones Bookshop, Leeds (more info)
- 1999 Homoeostasis; Fight or Flight, Yorkshire Dance & Ekistics Festival & 3 Mills Island Studios, Leeds, Sheffield, London (more info)
- 1998 Box #1 & Box #2, Powerhouse 1 & Riley Theatre, Wakefield, Leeds (more info)
- 1997 Homeward Bound, New Works Festival & Mosaics '98 & Yorkshire Dance, Leicester, London, Leeds
- 1997 Homeward Bound, Judson Church & Tacheles Theatre, New York, Berlin
- 1997 Homeward Bound, Chisenhale Dance Space & Powerhouse 1 & Chichester Institute, London, Wakefield, Chichester (more info)
- 1995 Experiment No 11, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds (more info)
- 1994 We Surface, Yorkshire Dance & Powerhouse 1 & Institute of Higher Education, Leeds, Wakefield, Chichester (more info)
- 2008 On Communication, self-initiated, national and international
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Web links - article/press