A public art exhibition, which aims to challenge assumptions and encourage a new way of looking at what it means to be human, will open at the University of Chester.
Combining their different experiences of disability, two artists –Lesley Halliwell, a Visiting Lecturer at the University and Jo Thorne, a Fine Art graduate – have come together to curate a group exhibition, which questions the uncertain boundaries of physical and psychological identity.
Taking place at the University’s CASC Gallery, Kingsway Buildings, supported by the Arts Council of England, SLIPPAGE: The Unstable Nature of Difference will run from March 9 – 27, and will bring together a group of national and international artists, who work with a range of media including photography, film sculpture, performance and drawing.
The exhibition curators, Lesley and Jo, explain: “We live in a world that places great emphasis on beauty and perfection. Every minute of every day we make instant judgments about other people and reactions to difference come in a range of guises, from pity and charity, admiration and respect to exclusion and repulsion.
“Some of the work in the exhibition confronts ‘head-on’ our understanding of what it means to be different and offers a personal and intimate perspective. Other works take us beyond surface appearance and explore identity and a ‘sense of self,’ either through medical research or by exploring the invisible internal worlds of the mind.
“The exhibition aims to challenge assumptions and to encourage us to re-think our values or simply offer a new way of looking that will encourage a more profound dialogue with society and what it means to be human.”
Artists taking part include the international film maker Andrew Kotting, who is going to re-present his installation Mapping Perception especially for the exhibition, Alexa Wright , author of Monstrosity: The Human Monster in Visual Culture, will be exhibiting a selection of her photographic series A View From the Inside and Katherine Araniello with her satirical film Pity which is about charitable giving. Regional artists taking part include Karen Heald and Susan Liggett, with a performance of Paper Interior, Daksha Patel, Lesley Halliwell and Jo Thorne, along with work by Paddy Hartley, Eric Fong and Noemi Lakmaier. Work by the late Lisa Bufano , whose work has rarely been seen in the UK, in collaboration with Jason Tschantre will also feature.
Complementing the exhibition, the curators will be giving talks which are open to the general public on Thursday, March 19th and Saturday, March 21st at 2pm.
A one-day symposium on Arts and Disability will also be hosted at the University on Friday, March 13th. The cost for attending is £20 for adults and £10 for students and concessions.
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