Bluecoat has revealed that the new exhibitions will be by two solo artists; Jonathan Baldock and Frances Disley.
The exhibitions open with a launch event on Thursday 12th March, 6-9pm and will both be showing at Bluecoat until June 2020.
Bluecoat is delighted to welcome back Jonathan Baldock, Freelands Foundation artist in residence at Bluecoat January 2018, for his solo exhibition, Facecrime.
While we often think of ceramics as useful objects, such as vases and bowls, FaceCrime presents a vision of clay as a means of communication.
At the centre of the exhibition is a landscape of ceramic columns, some over four metres high. Originally inspired by cuneiform-inscribed tablets – an early system of writing – dating from 2500BC, the exhibition explores the potential of clay to create communication tools that still connect with us today.
Featuring expressive faces and stamped emoji symbols, the columns emit audible groans, whistles and chuckles through concealed speakers. The columns are also adorned with weaving, basketry and glass drawn from different eras of labour, folklore and storytelling.
The exhibition title is inspired by Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984 – a facecrime being an ‘unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself’ suggesting that there was something to hide. Throughout the exhibition, rectangular ceramic tablets feature expressive faces built from the most basic elements. Facecrime was commissioned by Camden Arts Centre through the Freelands Lomax Ceramics Fellowship.
Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at Bluecoat, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jonathan Baldock back to Bluecoat to present this exciting work, which builds upon the foundations of his previous residency with us in 2018. The different elements of Facecrime will combine to create a playful and at times surprising installation for our visitors, which simultaneously explores deeper questions of how we communicate and connect with each other.”
Facecrime is commissioned by Camden Arts Centre with Tramway. The work was developed through the Freelands Lomax Ceramics Fellowship and is funded by the Freelands Foundation. The 2020 installation at Bluecoat is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation.
As part of Bluecoat’s ongoing commitment to supporting outstanding Northern artists, we are pleased to present a solo show by Liverpool-based Frances Disley.
Disley is interested in the things we do to feel better about ourselves, while shunning the elitism often found within the self-care industry, with its obsessions with conventional beauty, ideal body mass and self-regard. Pattern Buffer explores the potential of the gallery space to create a restorative environment. As with many of her previous installations, Disley layers a wide range of multi-sensory elements to construct a setting that invites gallery visitors to make use of her artworks, to pause and rest in comfort in the space, or share a hobby.
The exhibition features an alternative mindfulness guide; hand painted relaxation quilt; a specially crafted dominoes table; hairdressing as video art, and plants which survive from moisture in the air. The grid of the Holodeck, a device from Star Trek (The Next Generation) will cover the gallery floor and walls, inviting participants to engage with different fantasy environments.
The artist has also devised an accompanying events programme, including a number of workshops aimed at families.
Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at Bluecoat, said: “Supporting and developing Liverpool artists is one of Bluecoat’s core ambitions, and we are thrilled to be able to present this exhibition by Frances Disley as part of that commitment. Pattern Buffer comes to Bluecoat at a really exciting point in the artist’s career, and follows recent exhibitions at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester and Humber Street Gallery in Hull. The exhibition will invite visitors to experience our galleries in a new way, creating a welcoming environment that prioritises ideas of comfort and well-being.”
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