For this week's Five2Watch, the Axis team have selected artworks that inspire their own creative practices. Featuring: Chantal Powell, Muna Zuberi, Vivienne Baker, Ronnie Danaher and Martin Seeds
Share with us the artworks that inspire you, on our Axis community platform, here
Sistrum II (Goddess of Nature), 2022
One of a series of five ceramic sculptures based on ancient Egyptian Sistra.
The sistrum is a symbolic, sacred instrument originating in ancient Egypt. It was used in dances and religious ceremonies as an expression of joy, particularly in the worship of the goddess Hathor. It was also shaken to avoid flooding of the Nile and ward off the destructions of Seth. It’s form has been related to the Ankh symbol of life and also to the face and horns of the cow goddess Hathor. The sound when shaken was likened to the papyrus stalks being shaken – a rite connected to the myth of Horus being secretly raised in the papyrus marsh.
This piece was made as a response to the Me Too movement and questions attitudes to the female form. The figure is painted on English Antique Glass (mouthblown glass) offcuts and surrounded by glass applique consisting of both antique glass and commercial textured clear glass. (Antique glass is a type of glass as opposed to it being 'old').
Oil on canvas 56.5 x 71.5 cm
Ronnie Danaher’s first solo exhibition iConfess asks what sinning looks like in a world devoted to data. Blocking cookies? That’s a sin. Hiding your location? That’s a sin. Deleting all social media and going off the grid? That’s a mortal sin.
The video featured in the exhibition has been made through participatory workshops with young people at University of Leeds’ Saturday Art Club and Leeds Art Gallery’s Youth Collective. The gallery will echo the environment of a sacred space, but one devoted to a proposed religion which worships the spread of digital data, called ‘Dataism’. Drawing on a Catholic upbringing, this project situates the British relationship with data within the Catholic traditions of faith, sin, confession and absolution.
Made possible with funding from Arts Council England and Leeds Inspired.
The uncertainties brought on by BREXIT, the failure of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the challenges to the Good Friday Agreement have left a dangerous space in Northern Ireland where terrorist groups find a voice and gain influence. In an effort to generate community support and undermine local police, dissident terrorists conduct violent attacks (shootings, beatings and intimidation) against people in their own communities. Many of these dissident groups take part in criminal activities for their own gain. These life changing attacks happen within both the loyalist and republican communities
Between 2013-2017 there was a 60% surge in paramilitary style ‘punishment’ shootings and beatings. Despite a small dip in the number of these horrific incidents between 2017-2018, the overall trend is one of growth. Between April 2019 to April 2020 there was another increase of 13%. Becoming commonplace in the province are ‘punishments by appointment’. In these situations a family member, or close friend of the ‘offender’, deliver them to a predefined location where their punishment is dealt out by a group of masked men. The severity of the punishment will depend upon the nature of the ‘crime’ – anti-social behavior, drug dealing, burglary. Commonly, handguns are discharged at the back of knees, elbows, ankles and palms of hands.
As a response to the rise in terrorist activity I have been developing bodies of work using the motif of the three-hole balaclava ski mask - a symbol of terrorism in the province. The first of those bodies of works is Masks, an on-going series of unique silver gelatin contact prints. Made by placing the screen of an iPad, displaying an appropriated image, directly onto traditional darkroom paper, the resulting soft, yet disturbing images allude to the troubles of the past and stir ominous thoughts about the alarming escalation of these violent attacks.
Published 22 February 2023