tender flesh

Tender Flesh, (2015) Single channel video, silent. 50 mins looped. Projection size approx 38cm x 28cm

Tender Flesh 1 (2015) Single channel video, silent. 50 mins looped. Projection size approx 38cm x 28cm

Tender Flesh was produced in conjunction with Lincolnshire Archives’ Miscellaneous Donations collection, also known as ‘Misc. Don.’ This collection contains a range of paper-based artefacts, reflecting the multi-stranded definition of what an archive can be. For this exhibition, the ‘Misc. Don.’ collection acted as a catalyst for the featured artists’ work; the classification bringing forth a prospect and excitement of the unknown.

The exhibition, curated by Sophia Kyprianou, explores the relationship between how an archive is defined, how it is categorised, how it is used by a multitude of people, and how artists respond to archives and archiving.

My own work responded to the three notebooks in the Miscellaneous Donations collection. The oldest appeared to be a pharmacist’s notebook dated approx. 1700 and contained ‘recipes’ for remedies for a wide range of ailments; the second notebook featured a series of Geographical questions and was dated 1834 and the third was a farmers notebook from the early 1900’s itemising sales and purchases of produce. Whilst examining these items and deciphering the content I was struck by the similar materiality of these books spanning over two hundred years; in particular the vulnerable quality of their spines. Filming the normally overlooked spaces between the pages with a microscope revealed a landscape of fibres, flaking animal glue, fragments of quill, insect limbs, hand-wrought pins and knotty twine. Connected to us by their unravelling materiality, these objects somehow become reminders of our own mortality.

Installation views of Misc. Don. at The Courtyard Gallery, The Collection, Lincoln, 2015 (see flickr set here)