Transfusing My Breath into Their Phantoms

Performance/installation

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland road, Carlisle, England (Movement, Change and Identity Exhibition)

Duration: 1 minute, 10 seconds (installation completed for 3 minutes)

Material: Human form with feet darkened by soil and hands painted white, sheet of glass elevated by stacked bricks, vinyl floor squares, dental records, photographic documentation of previous performances, saliva, white emulsion paint, hair, blood, soil

22nd November 2019

Dealing with themes of identity, displacement and transformation, this allusion manifests itself as a record of prior reflection. It was conceived during a week-long residency, in which I worked alongside, and in response to, a Kurdish refugee.

Considering the extent to which a true understanding of external experience is possible, this collaborative climate encouraged a meta-cognitive approach to production. During which, I accentuated the process of responding to that which is in a perpetual state of becoming; that which provides no fixed point through which prolonged, conceptual identification may be established. Activated by my presence, the anatomical implications of the installation – a deconstruction of body and space – highlighted these problematic ideas; the inevitable failings of my endeavour ultimately informing the action itself. I, momentarily, became an artefact, one which embodied a previous set of experiences and unsustainable outcomes. Consequently, this cultivation and systemic relinquishment of identities rendered my comprehension of selfhood futile.

Photo credit: Max Wilkins

Attitude of Mind | Totality of Deeds

Performance/installation

Place: University of Cumbria: Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road, Carlisle, England (Breaking Ground Exhibition)

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in black, white studio pillar, eight A4 photographs of previous performances, four A3 acetate brain scan images, lightbox, human hair, iron filings, soil, white cup, red and black glove, yellow and orange glove, plasters, bandages, paperback copy of Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

30th August 2019

Engaging in repetitive movements around a white studio pillar, I referenced the actions performed during Contexts: IX International Festival of Ephemeral Art and the behavioural lexicon developed through my studio practice.

The episodic continuity of these mechanical gestures, along with their trace and residue, would allow the exercise to exhibit hermeneutical traits. Such would be achieved through the implementation of symbolic signifiers planted within the works processes and the re-appropriation of post-performance artefacts. More akin to physical allusions than conventional performances, my actions work to organise human experience and cognition. I assume multiple forms, simultaneously strange and familiar, that I carry throughout. Thus, sacrificing all to appearance, I commit myself and become myself through the work, asserting my own perspective on the world and changing nothing of my circumstances. The deep feelings present in these allusions mean more than they are conscious of saying; they are, in a Camusian sense, symptomatic of individual universes – internal modes of being.

Photo credit: Mia Eccleston

Unformed, Allusion (2/3)

Performance

Place: Sokołowsko, Poland (Contexts: IX International Festival of Ephemeral Art)

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in black, A3 acetate brain scan image, red and black glove

28th July 2019

Making my way through the streets of Sokołowsko, I presented the brain scan image from the previous performances. The very presence of this image implied a pre-festival set of events and circumstances having taken place, all of which leading to its existence in the work. Such would act as a surface-level indication of my allusive, self-referential tendencies – further establishing the fluidity of art and life.

Photo credit: Roddy Hunter

Unformed, Allusion (1/3)

Performance

Place: Sokołowsko, Poland (Contexts: IX International Festival of Ephemeral Art)

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in black, A3 acetate brain scan image, red and black gloves, soil, white cup, scissors, electric razor

27th July 2019

Alluding to Unformed, 9-hour Endurance, the physical and psychological duality I faced linked my physical attitude to a previous state of mind. This was indicated aesthetically through my immersion with on-site materials and the inhabitation of performance persona – a set of calculated characteristics. In this case, I incorporated dirt from the site of the preceding endurance and shaving of the left side of my head.

Photo credit: Klaudia Gorak

Unformed, 9-hour Endurance

Performance

Place: Sokołowsko, Poland (Contexts: IX International Festival of Ephemeral Art)

Duration: 9 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in blue shirt and heavy duty trousers, A3 acetate brain scan image, red and black glove, bandages, stone pillar

26th – 27th July 2019

Transpiring in the outskirts of a forest opposite a disused Sanatorium, Unformed, 9-hour Endurance saw me engage in laboured movement around a single stone pillar – the trace of each pilgrimage being overwritten by the next, and so on. The works setting, a transformative space of social and psychological distortion, became a temporary residence for many visitors to the festival. Thus, the action was forced upon its audience – sharing their space, the place in which they ate, slept and socialised.

Photo credit: Jerzy Grzegorski

Proof of Action

Place: Newcastle Street, Carlisle, England

Material: Black boots, two grayscale photographs

10th April 2019

Striving to expand the parameters of an allusive act, I set about encapsulating the experiences surrounding that part of me that lives on vague nostalgia. This would include; the journey to the site, scoping out the space and the post-performance walk home. Attaching the photographic documentation from the original action to the bottom of my boots, I would retrace my steps by returning to the site in which I engaged in the act. The aftermath of which would question that which is considered ‘art’ within a project’s timeline.

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The Theatricality of the Protagonist

Performance/installation

Place: The Vallum Gallery, Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road, Carlisle, England (Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year Exhibition)

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form, A3 paper w/ description of original performance, grayscale photograph, blue tarpaulin, steel toe capped boots, latex gloves, shovel, hazard tape, heavy duty trousers, jumper, wool hat, wrench

21st March 2019

Presenting my physical form amongst the symbolic assemblage of that part of me that lives on vague nostalgia, my return as the works protagonist flirted with a semblance of aesthetic authenticity. However, I could be seen playing up my trauma, embodying a picturesque image of physical distress – a state merely implied by the description of the nostalgia performance. Loaning this suggestive physicality, I presented my staged production of emotional turmoil, becoming a poseur.

Photo credit: Max Wilkins

That Part of me that Lives on Vague Nostalgia

Installation

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland Road, Carlisle, England

Material: Grayscale photograph, blue tarpaulin, steel toe capped boots, latex gloves, shovel, hazard tape, heavy duty trousers, jumper, wool hat, wrench

6th December 2018

This performance was, in fact, a burial. It marked an attempted relationship and immersive encounter with place. The exercise itself took place on a demolition site, amongst the remains of an old school building. Functioning as my studio and place of study three years prior, I would dig into the ground of the space, proceeding to bury myself in the plot of land where I previously worked. I would remain that way for the length of an average day in the studio.

While there exists no direct documentation of this event ever having taken place you are invited to consider its possibility.

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Something Blocks the Doorway

Performance

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland Road, Carlisle, England (SOMETHING Exhibition)

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in blue shirt and black trousers, noise cancelling headphones, blindfold, white gallery wall, spotlight

8th November 2018

Fuelled by a motivation to highlight the problematic notion of inaccessibility, this performance operated through a simplistic economy of gesture and material. The venue, an exhibition space which previously functioned as a pharmacy, enabled me to become an allusive component within the space. I developed an antagonistic, physical altercation with a white exhibition wall. This would deny access to what used to be a doorway and would involve me repeatedly colliding with said wall as if said doorway was still operational. A once achievable gesture became entirely fruitless. Such would call attention to the historic function of the space and the inconsistencies presented by its current state.

Photo credit: Max Wilkins