My work weaves together audio, texts, archival and found materials with photographs and performances to interrogate the slippery multi-faceted performance of femininity. Through revealing the hidden mechanisms and staged moments, I want to bring to light the layers of identity informed by social interaction and contexts, the contradictions in physical bodily display and the divergent techniques of hiding in plain sight—being the dazzling spectacle in the spotlight.
I prise open these spotlight moments in my work by drawing attention to the crafting of identity through entertainment. I do this through a process of bringing in expert voices, building unlikely relationships with retired chorus girls, current showgirls and contrary performers, who play along with me, committing to a period of embarrassed rehearsals and ritual humiliation through public performance.
I am interested in the labour of the performance, the vulnerability of the body, loneliness and lack of talent. I often step into these awkward moments, implicating myself and the viewer; dancing non-stop to the threshold of painful exhaustion; singing sincerely but imperfectly in a crowded room. I aim to capture a certain irreverence, absurdity tinged with melancholy, foolishness, pleasure—all these layers of live performance, all at the same time.
The long exposures of my photographs of theatre interiors reflect aspiration, opulence and dust. The façade and the real. The reality of construction. These resonant and atmospheric spaces are haunted with the trials of optimism and human endeavour, of putting on a show.
CV & Education
Qualifications and training
2013 - Practice Led PhD, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
2009 - MFA Photography & Media, California Institute of the Arts, California, USA
2001 - BA Hons Fine Art, Combined & Media Art, Sheffield Hallam University
2012 - Showtime, with Kerstin Honeit, SIA Gallery, Cantor Building, Sheffield Hallam University, 153 Arundel Street Sheffield S1 2NU
2011 - Showtime, with Kerstin Honeit, LoBe, Berlin
2009 - Woman As Image, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
2008 - Wish You Were Here, Real Photographs, Series of Nine, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
2011 - Last Requests, Assembly / Bloc Projects, Sheffield
2009 - GLAMFA 09, Greater Los Angeles MFA, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach
2009 - MFA Conversations Part II, I5 Gallery at The Brewery Art Colony, Los Angeles
2009 - Why Theory, CalArts MFA Grad Show / Spring Arts Tower, Downtown Los Angeles
2007 - Deja Vu, Blocspace, Sheffield
2006 - Paint It Black , Cupola Gallery, Sheffield
2005 - S1 Artspace Member's Show, S1 Artspace, Sheffield
2006 - Just For Fun, Webster Gotts & Robin Close, Sheffield
2011 - LoBe London Berlin Art Kunst , LoBe, Berlin
2010 - Terra Summer Residency, Terra, Giverny
Educational experience - secondary
2008 - Community Arts Partnership, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
Educational experience - tertiary
2008 - Teaching Assistant for Ellen Birrell & David Bunn, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
2012 - Tegel Flights of Fancy, Screening, Bablyon Cinema, Berlin