That Part of me that Lives on Vague Nostalgia

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

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

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland Road, Carlisle, England

Duration: 3 hours continuous

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

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.

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Photo credit: Max Wilkins

Allow me to Explain

Place: The Market Hall, Scotch Street, Carlisle, England (Anywhere & Here Exhibition)

Duration: 4 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in black, steel toe capped boot, rubber gloves, wooden board, soil, paper, chair, television on white plinth

2018

This performance referenced unseen labour through a physical restructuring of its key, fundamental components. In an effort to maintain an element of futility within my practice, the activity was designed to present, but never directly inform one of an occurrence. The space was segmented into three distinct parts, playing host to a mechanism, one intent on delivering suggestive information. To do this, I would physically engage with artefacts from said labour, sabotaging my own attempt at dispensing a vocal account of events and produce hand-drawn representational documents.

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Photo credit: Jack Aylward Williams

Vocal Sabotage

2018

Introducing physical obstruction into my declaration of activity, I display a very conscious and purposeful attempt at vocal distortion. As not to compromise the futility of the action proceeding this exercise, I suppresses the idea of individual expression, effectively removing my ability to communicate through a disruption of verbal delivery. I would re-purpose the components used in the performance being referred to; gloves, boots, my shirt, etc. Doing this, I presented everyday experiences and activities as legitimate performance material. Inviting the viewer to consider the role of contextual clarity when composing a record, as well as to question the authenticity of said record. One is placed in a scenario which promises a state of perplexing intimacy. The focus is this time directly on the artists face and the viewer is subjected to a momentary sharing of the unease exhibited by the subject on screen.

Video Confession

2018

By engaging in this repetitive video narration, I would outline the paradoxical nature of the subject matter and my artistic methodologies. More specifically the concept of futility, an integral aspect of Sisyphean practices. Because of this, the work acts as a site responsive, institutional critique, simultaneously probing ideas of; audience participation, the reliability of recollection and the ontological considerations of live art. The overly emotional delivery of said accounts invites ambiguity, inviting one to consider the validity of what is being described.

One Must Imagine the Artist Happy

Place: Building Site, Scotforth Road, Lancaster, England

Duration: 30 minutes

Material: Human form wearing blue jeans, wooden board, rope, rock/rubble

2018

This performance saw me occupy an environment under construction, all at once evident of a previous function and in a process of becoming. Doing so, I would practice a ritualistic absurdity, one which adopted a consideration of time and space in relation to intense physical strain. The exercise marked the my attempts at incorporating a degree of audience involvement into my work. The participant would place fragments of rock upon my back while vocalising any discomfort or general thought processes while doing so.

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Absurd Hero

Place: University of Cumbria, Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road, Carlisle, England

Duration: 9 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in heavy duty trousers, steel toe capped boots and t-shirt, rock, rope, wooden board, spotlight

2017

Adopting a Sisyphean functionality, this repetitive action contributed towards an ongoing, representational investigation its subject matter. Employing raw, ready-made materials, the experience played into the notion of the archetypal labourer – using said occupation to explore futility and endurance.

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Photo credit: Max Wilkins