Doorways - introducing our artists! #1
This is the first in a series of blog posts introducing our artists for Doorways (in no particular order). Today we introduce Summer Varley, Pip Woolf, Mary Rouncefield, Milena Michalski, Willie Robb and Sarah Nabarro.
Remember, we'll be on the top two floors of 7 New Bond Street Place, Bath from 26th May to 10th June.
Summer's artwork focuses on identify, exploring the markers and methods that we use in everyday society to define our identity. Taking inspiration from different cultures throughout history, she mirrors this through her interest in future technologies. Through her work she explores what issues such as hyper-connectivity means for the definition of personal and social identity. Now specializing in ceramics and textiles, each project, although different in content and material, is linked by underlying subject matter - her interest in people, herself and how we all relate to the world.
Summer's piece in 'Doorways' is a stunning photograph evoking a mix of feelings - the feeling of being safe and comforted in an enclosed space, but also the desire to go outside, being invited by the sunlight poring in through an open door.
To find out more about Summer's work, visit www.summervarley.com or follow her on Instragram @ohsee_
Pip is a visual artist with a background in environmental interpretation. Her work is embedded in her landscape and community and explores our place on the planet focusing on a combination of practical, physical, emotional, political and philosophical questions. She puts herself alongside others in order to find points of connection; artists, students, farmers, politicians, taking cues from their world as to how its materiality could inform her marks. In seeking an aesthetic she uses found colour, physical material and elemental forces within conceptual frameworks.
Pip's work in 'Doorways' is the stunning piece 'Someone loved: John', a sculpture incorporating interlocking doors. The viewer is reflected both in the glass and in the image created with aluminium leaf. At the same time the identity of another, John - a resident with dementia living in the liminal space of a care home - can be easily overlooked and yet persists imbedded in the material of the piece.
Mary is a printmaker and artist working in drawing, textiles and some screen print. Recently she has been working in both drawing and print, focussing on human rights issues affecting both women and children. Her 3D work incorporates hand-drawn images on every-day objects which then themselves convey meaning to the work. She cares deeply about the injustices and cruelty meted out to vulnerable members of our human society and believes that art can be a means of communication and a catalyst for change.
Mary's work in 'Doorways' is 'The Cut', a piece made to highlight the issue of 'cutting' or FGM (female genital mutilation). This ritualistic practice, still seen as the 'doorway' to womanhood, while illegal in many countries, is still carried out clandestinely in some, and openly in others. It is very difficult to eradicate as it is woven in to the beliefs, customs and social fabric of many cultures, and bandages and strips of fabric are woven into the piece to show this while cutting instruments are represented in copper foil and mesh.
Find out more about Mary's work at www.maryrouncefield.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @maryrouncefield
Milena’s visual arts practice engages particularly with place and perception, sight and site, using a range of media including print-making, photography, analogue film, digital video and site-specific installation. Milena’s artwork and academic research - she is Artist in Residence on ‘Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community’ and Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London - complement each other and are interwoven.
Milena has two photographs included in 'Doorways'. The first, 'Duality' (below), is created by superimposing two photographs of doorways in Sigmund Freud’s houses, one from the house in Austria where Freud lived and worked until forced into exile by the Nazis, the second from his house in London where they fled to - juxtaposing exile and welcome. Milena's other piece, 'Abandon all hope', depicts the doorway to the Pathology Block at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany. This doorway was the threshold to inconceivable horrors, yet now, and out of context, it looks banal and commonplace.
You can find out more about Milena's work at www.milenamichalski.com or follow her on Twitter @milenamichalski
At the core of Willie's work is societal concern. He uses a variety of photographic and videographic styles and approaches to consider the physical impact of dogmatic, political ideology. The notion that a loss of empathy leads to dangerous actions has fuelled his work for the last ten years. Willie says that he takes solace in the hope that lessons will be learned before history has the time to fully repeat itself.
Willie's piece for 'Doorways' is a video entitled 'Auto-da-fé', is a one shot film which focuses on the Protestant Martyr's Steps in Lewes, East Sussex. On the morning 22nd June 1557 ten prisoners, six men and four women, walked up the steps to be burned at the stake charged with being Protestant sympathisers in Catholic England. Looking up the steps - shot from the perspective of the martyrs - this meditative piece considers the doorway through which they will have to pass before facing a painful death.
You can find out more about Willie's work at www.willierobb.com or by following him on Twitter @willierobb or Instagram @willierobb
Sarah Nabarro is an expressive artist. The human face is the most expressive form for her, which is why she uses it. As an expressive artist whose starting point is, inevitably, her own feelings and experiences, universals are of particular interest as they may be a point of meeting between us – a point where we may discover what we have in common. Sarah describes her work as a kind of on going puzzle, or question, juxtaposing the obvious and the direct with the ambiguous and oblique. It is the puzzle – the unknowns – that keep her curious and drive her work; it is curiosity that keeps her interested and alive.
For 'Doorways', Sarah's beautiful work 'Processual' explores processes of becoming through the figure. The image raises questions about the meanings and contrasts the body holds – life and death, body and soul, our light and our dark. In this sense, the body becomes a doorway, a liminal space; a space of continuous becoming and movement between things.
Find out more about Sarah's work at www.sarahnabarroart.com or follow her on Instagram @sarah_nabarro
Our next blog will feature more of our wonderful artists! And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @DoorwaysArt2018