‘My Head is an Animal’ | 07 December 2013 - 02 February 2014
Linder Sterling | Margaret Harrison | Samantha Donnelly | Holly Slingsby | Mette Sterre | Rebecca Cusworth Elizabeth Hudson | Jamie Crewe | Anna Turner | Sarah Eyre | Lorna Barrowclough
Curated by Clare Nadal
...what I saw
Appeared like something in myself, a dream,
A prospect in the mind.
- Wordsworth, The Prelude
Showcased at South Square Gallery, Thornton, the group exhibition My Head is an Animal explores the art of self-representation and expression, our inherent desire to create and recreate a sense of self. What unites the artists in this exhibition is their examination of not only the beauty, but also the horror within our internal dreams, myths and fantasies.
Identity and ideas of selfhood have long remained a source of interest and inspiration for artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers and it is on this premise that the exhibition begins. Constantly hearkening both back and forwards in time from the art historical influences of the Pre-Raphaelites and Surrealists, to contemporary pop culture and fashion, the exhibition demonstrates the perpetuating influence of the past on the present. This can be seen in Linder Sterling’s collaborative film Forgetful Green, made with fashion photographer Tim Walker, female archetypes are placed in the otherworldly sumptuous setting of a traditional rose field, questioning the boundaries of vision and reality.
Of particular interest is the way in which identity has found itself becoming more complex and fluid in recent years with the rise of social media, allowing multiple ‘cyber selves’ to be projected onto the world, whilst the booming makeup and fashion industry encourage us to constantly mask our self within. The notion of the ‘cultural icon’ is explored through the specific example of Marilyn Monroe in Margaret Harrison’s Marilyn series, which focuses on the way in which the self may also be mythologised and defined by a wider cultural imagination.
In its interdisciplinary nature, this exhibition brings together both artists emerging and established to engage in dialogue across a wide range of creative practices including performance, collage, photography, design and costume. A key focus is on performance both in its artistic form and in its ambivalent relationship with reality and imagination, further explored through a number of offsite curated film and live performance events. Through playful interaction, the works in this exhibition raise timeless questions of beauty, loss, and desire, speaking directly to the viewer and asking us to reflect on what it is to be human and mortal.
Click here to read a review of the exhibition written by artist Tim Barnes.
Click here to read a review of the exhibition written by artist Frances Lightbound, a founding member of collective 2|1|4|1.
South Square, Thornton, Bradford, BD13 3LD
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