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Artists respond to the Artemis* Collection
Amelia Crouch / Lubaina Himid and Susan Walsh / Dinu Li / Rhiannon Silver / Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson / Lisa Stansbie / Nathan Walker
28 April - 6 August 2011
Nine artists from across the North of England have been invited to create new work in response to Artemis, an amazing collection of over 10,000 objects relating to world cultures, fine and applied art, science, natural history, textiles and costume, social history, childhood and more. Based in Holbeck, Leeds, the collection forms an art loan service for Education Leeds to which artists have been given exclusive access.
The title of the show ‘Hunter Gatherer’ refers to a term used by anthropologists to describe the way in which human beings collected food before the advent of agriculture. Here it references the artists and the processes they have employed to sift through the vast Artemis collection. The resulting works include sculpture, installation, film, prints and drawing which form part static exhibition and part on-going project within the space.
*Artemis was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals and the wilderness, often depicted as a huntress with bow and arrows.
Images on Flickr
is working in the space, creating a visual manifestation of her thought processes using drawings, diagrams, objects and photographs along with text exploring or creating possible links between them. Taking as her starting point John Wesley’s 1780 edition of ‘Primitive Physic and Receipt’, Crouch is interested in the way medical treatments are grouped together in the book - these resonate with the way in which objects are grouped in the Artemis collection. The anatomical objects selected by the artist become a stand-in for the absent figurative images in the book and aim to open up a different understanding of the body to those perpetuated by the ‘Primitive Physic and Receipt’.
Lubaina Himid and Susan Walsh
have made a themed selection of obsolete domestic apparatus from the Artemis collection - washtubs, dollies and washboards - which they have assembled with their own materials into a number of sculptures. Tiny curious onlookers and hungry historians gather to view this memorial landscape which is dedicated to the invisible labour of the women who used them. The artists are both concerned with the power of everyday objects and the making visible of lost lives.
is exhibiting a display cabinet that was originally discovered standing defiantly upright, yet alone inside Chester Market. Upon the end of its tenure, the marketer had stripped his stall bare, leaving behind the cabinet that makes up the front façade.There is a formal quality to the cabinet, constructed as four separate display components, forming a complete hexagonal unit when all four parts are joined up. The emptied out glass display alludes to a range of existential concerns; conjuring up notions of our need to possess and to show off our assets, yet the potential lack of contentment once we have obtained the things we most desire.
’s practice makes connections between objects, text, film, places and people to develop new narratives in visual work. ‘Ark’ (6’12) is a film of the storage facility at Artemis. As the camera pans through the shelves, it is accompanied by a low, rumbling sound that creates a sense of unease. The film enlivens the stillness of the environment, the sense of forgotten places, objects and time juxtaposed against the moving time that passes in front of the screen.
Developing a publication of her visual essay blog ‘Intelligent Clashing’
has selected over 100 objects from the Artemis store. Attempting to counteract the ‘inherent loneliness’ of these objects (all stored in individual boxes) she has gathered images to accompany each object from an online store of images by NYC photographer Mary Manning. Creating visual relationships between often disparate objects and images Silver focuses on a ‘sculptural space’ not only between the images laid out on the pages of a book but also geographically and culturally between artifacts and places, found in and specific to Holbeck to Manhattan.
Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson
have created an installation using rubber pigeon decoys and anti-perch spikes. Whilst the decoys are designed to lure pigeons to their death, the spikes are designed to deter birdlife. Within this duplicity and contradiction, the artists highlight the perils to both birds and humans of mistaking simulacra for the real thing, especially in a constructed world populated by representations that make the real world into something more manageable and tolerable.
’s three channel video projection ‘Objectivity Tropes / Objectivist Poetry / Presto Objectivity’ (12 mins) shows the continual rearrangement of selected objects from Artemis on red, blue and yellow surfaces. Letters appear across the three videos sometimes spelling, but often deconstructing, words and language. The work attempts to understand the poetics of things (words and objects) by employing systems of order with anarchic principles and the curation of meaning. The videos are accompanied by stills from the video which are highly saturated, making visual references to children’s television programmes and images of museum displays from the 1970s.
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