Tracing PAPER Group Crit

Over the past four months PAPER has been supporting a group of nine artists with professional development and conceptual development of their practices. They have had feedback from the PAPER team and guest speakers such as Paul Stone from VANE, Newcastle, Bryan Biggs Artist Director at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, and PAPER’s represented artists such as Frances Disley & Jenny Steele. The nine selected artists include; Laura Jane Atkinson, Tracey Eastham, Sarah Eyre, Holly Rowan Hesson, Sarah Hill, Naomi Kendrick, Ellie MacGarry, Rachel Pursgrove and Stephanie Shaw.

The mentoring scheme will end in an exhibition at PAPER gallery between 6th June and 18th July. Daisy Strang gives us a sneak peak into what three of our Tracing Paper Artists have been up to.

On Tuesday 9th April I joined the Tracing PAPER Artists in their crit session along with the Bluecoat’s Artistic Director Bryan Biggs and our very own David Hancock. 

“Today I spent an afternoon session with three of Tracing Papers Artists discussing their ongoing work for their upcoming show here at Paper. Today I met Naomi Kendrick, Sarah Eyre and Sarah Hill at their studios in Federation House.Three Artists who all work in very different style and practice.

Naomi Kendrick was first to talk us through her most recent work. Naomi’s practice is based around drawing and mark making, its influence from music and movement. Naomi sees each drawing as both a visual and psychological journey where a conversation between mind and mark takes place, whether in battle or in harmony.  Her work ranges in scale; her first drawings she spoke about were just A3 in size and behind me giant rolls of paper with huge fluid drawings hung from the ceiling and rolled across the floor. Recently Naomi has been focusing on the “unconcious state of drawing” and trying to remove herself from the conscious state of drawing. To begin with she showed us how she had attempted this by drawing to the repetition and monotony of a metronome. You could see this reflected in her work by the repetition of a hurried line and back and forth motion within her charcoal drawings.

Secondly we discussed drawings that she created whilst under the influence of hypnosis. She explained how this is something she has wanted to experiment with for a long time and to her delight the experience definitely seemed an interesting and eye-opening one. Naomi explained her discomfort in a hypnotic state whilst making her first drawing and this is clear through the tightness and control within the small drawing. However the other “hypnosis drawings” were much looser. Naomi described drawing whilst in the hypnotic state as similar to “having different layers of consciousness”. The drawing which particularly stood out to me has various layers of circles which look similar to half formed bubbles. I felt this helped to demonstrate her “layers of consciousness”. As we moved to Naomi’s larger works we discussed how her practice relies heavily on the importance of the performance. She often works alongside musicians who improvise and her drawing is in reflection or collaboration to the sounds that are being made.

Naomi 1

We then wandered over to the back of the studio and sat down with Sarah Eyre. Sarah talked us through her recent work and her practice which is largely photography based. In front of us there is a scattering of seven or eight A3 print outs pinned to the wall. The collection is a set of black and white photographs of wigs. Sarah begins to explain how she has recently been focusing on the sex trade within Manchester and this as her subject matter in relation to the wigs. The photographs show “headless” wigs, which naturally makes the view wonder who’s wig it is. We begin to discuss the progression of her work and how she has began to cut back at her photographs and reveal what is underneath the wig. Sarah’s work is concerned with an abiding fascination for the uncanny and the surreal in everyday objects, as well as an ongoing exploration of relationship between hair and wigs and their relationship to gender and identity. The simplicity of the photograph of the wig and the layers shown underneath works really well. It leads us to think about the woman involved in the sex trade and who these women really are beneath their wigs or other forms of disguises. Sarah has cut into, painted on and collaged some of the photographs with a circular shape with the netting of the under layers of the wig. She begins to explain how this is so that we look beyond the wig and into the layers beneath. We discuss how this again relates back to the sex trade and how the circle could almost suggest a “peep show” viewing hole. Sarah explains how she may frame the photographs for the exhibition opening on Thursday 4th June. crit2

We then travelled up another floor at Federation House to visit the studio space of Sarah Hill. Here we saw a very neatly organised single desk with a few magazines and print outs layed out on the table. Sarah begins to skim through the magazines showing us how she has created work based around the removal of segments of photographs and images in order to create a quite complex, yet interesting collage image. Here the entire magazine acts as the image/object. Each page has a new cut out and is different to the last page we turned, so in turn acts as individual objects/images. Sarah’s practice is driven by an interest in the art of collage as a means of questioning established systems of meaning making through re-assimilation, juxtaposition, and manipulation of existing material. Much of her work explores an interest in materiality, language and the relationship between moving image and sound. In most of the collage pieces we can see hints and indications of the human form and she explains how this is something she quite often shows within her work. We then begin to watch a film she has recently created in a collaboration with a musician. Here Sarah created the film in response to music created by a close friend. The music is complex and gripping and we see throughout the film the representation of the human form. Sarah creates her film through found video footage and then projects the film onto tracing paper and hence distorts the film image in a performative manner. Sarah avoids using edited software and the film recording is a live show. The relation between her collage and film work is clear. We went on to discuss how she could use the images made from the magazines to create a handmade, Artist-book to be shown alongside the film for the exhibition. crit6

Today’s group crit was the first time I have been able to see all three artists work. I found all the work incredibly interesting and the crit session highly informative. It was a brilliant opportunity to see and understand how each of their creative processes and to hear their explanations and opinions about their work. I’m really looking forward to seeing what these three come up with for the exhibition.”

The TRACING Paper Artist’s in Residency will be show casing their work at PAPER Gallery from Saturday 6th June until the 18th July. 

Blog post written by Daisy Strang


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