Early Photographic work included in group exhibition 'In My Shoes: Art and the Self Since 1990', Longside Gallery, Yorkshire, (30 March–17 June 2018), touring to Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester; PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon; Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University and The Harley Gallery, Welbeck throughout 2018 - 2019

Billingham, Richard ORCID: 0000-0002-6474-5656 (2018) Early Photographic work included in group exhibition 'In My Shoes: Art and the Self Since 1990', Longside Gallery, Yorkshire, (30 March–17 June 2018), touring to Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester; PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon; Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University and The Harley Gallery, Welbeck throughout 2018 - 2019. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract

Early photographic work from Billingham's series 'Rays a Laugh' was included in the group exhibition 'In My Shoes: Art and the Self Since 1990', Longside Gallery, Yorkshire, (30 March–17 June 2018). The show then toured the UK and was exhibited in the following venues: Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester, (7 July–2 September 2018); PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, (6 October 2018 – 6 January 2019); Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University, (19 January–12 May 2019) and The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, (6 July–22 September 2019). The exhibition explored ways in which UK-based artists have represented themselves in their work since the 1990s. There were 25 artists exhibited including Jananne Al-Ani, Tracey Emin, Ryan Gander, Emma Hart, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas, Rachel MacLean, Jonathan Monk, Grayson Perry, Marc Quinn, Donald Rodney, Veronica Ryan, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger, Gillian Wearing, Bedwyr Williams and Grayson Perry. Self-portraiture has provided a source of inspiration to artists across time. In recent years many artists have challenged and expanded the genre by incorporating action, performance and narrative. The exhibition offered a survey of these contemporary approaches, presenting major works from the Arts Council Collection alongside key loans from other UK collections. The exhibition sought to reflect the widespread interest in self-expression that extends beyond the confines of the art world. The rise of the ‘selfie’ in contemporary culture and the construction of digital identities through social media provide a pertinent cultural context. This exhibition was also an opportunity to consider the legacies of the ‘Young British Artists’ (YBAs) who's work was often confrontational and self-referential. Major works from this period were represented, including a selection of Sarah Lucas ’ photographic self-portraits from 1990-1998 and Tracey Emin’s The Simple Truth (1993), an early blanket piece featuring the appliquéd words ‘Tracey Emin Here To Stay.’ Stitched by Emin in a hotel room on an early trip to the US, the work is a physical expression of the artist’s intention to establish herself in an overcrowded art world. A number of the works investigated different approaches to performance and role playing such as Gavin Turk’s photographic triptych, Oi! (1998), which references Turk’s performance as a drunk at the opening of the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1997. Many artists in the exhibition have used self-representation to convey a range of ideas concerning identity, community and empathy. For example, Jananne Al-Ani employed the conventions of early photographic studio portraiture to explore her own identity as well as those of her mother and sisters in ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ clothing. In Stewart Home ’s photographic series, ‘Becoming (M)other’ (2004), the artist layered portraits of himself and his late mother, Julia Callan-Thompson, into unified images. Bedwyr Williams participatory installation 'Walk a mile in my shoes' (2006, Saatchi Collection) took the form of a shoe shop, with visitors invited to explore the gallery whilst wearing a pair of the artist’s size 13 shoes. In assuming the artist’s footwear, visitors were encouraged to metaphorically see things from a different perspective. Jill Constantine, Director of Arts Council Collection said: “This timely exhibition steps away from conventional self-portraiture to show us how artists explore their own identities, whether real or imagined, and offers us an insight into what fires their creativity. Some of the results are disturbing, playful or poignant - but this exhibition captures the breadth of the imagination and the vitality of the work being produced by artists in this country today.”

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Related URLs:
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Arts > Art
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice as Research
Depositing User: Richard Billingham
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2019 14:30
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 14:30
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/7411

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