n. pl. cor·po·ra (-pr-)
1. A large collection of writings of a specific kind or on a specific subject.
2. A collection of writings or recorded remarks used for linguistic analysis.
3. The main part of a bodily structure or organ.
//Reviews of art. Art and language. Art and the body.
As a child,
Henrietta Armstrong used to make large robots from odd bits of wood she
would hammer together in the garden. In her young mind, these would guard the
house. “I don’t have an awareness of ever wanting to be an artist,” she says,
looking back. “I just always was one.”
herself as both “a visual thinker” and “a total clutterbug”. She trawls the
internet for source material, collects unusual fabrics and enjoys rummaging
around car boot sales and Parisian flea markets. Recently, she has been looking
at ways to expand her practice and is taking a crash course in animation from
also working with four other women artists to put on an exhibition, The
Overview Effect, this month. “The Overview Effect is the name given to the
change in perspective that astronauts have when they view Earth from space and
realise how fragile it is in its relation to the universe,” she explains. “I
have always really loved the structure of pylons and have been digitally
manipulating photos I have taken. I’ve been looking at the idea of future
civilisations or aliens looking at these weird structures without knowing what
they were for, like they were deities to worship or offerings to our gods. I’m
completely obsessed with patterns. Drawing lines and connecting things up,
physically and metaphorically, is very satisfying.”
Henrietta Armstrong’s work in The Overview Effect at Lewisham Art House from
6-19 June 2016.
Drawing from a rich mixture of American pop
culture, black aesthetics, philosophy and semiotics, Martine Syms (b1988)
produces work across many media that strives for a specificity the artist knows
not to exist. Instead, through her films, performances and other work, she
hopes to raise questions about representation, the embodiment of imagery, the
value of assimilation, and how popular culture becomes internalised. Incredibly
widely read, Syms is also the founder of Dominica, a publishing imprint dedicated
to exploring black aesthetics in visual culture. She spoke to Studio
International about her latest exhibition, Fact & Trouble, at the ICA,
As part of this year’s Brighton
Festival, Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing (b1963) will be
premiering her new film, A Room With Your Views, part of her collaborative,
global film project, Your Views, for which she asked people – everyone – from
around the world to film and submit a short clip of their curtains or blinds
opening and the view from their window.
Wearing, whose work explores
our public personas and private lives, describes her working method as “editing
life”. She uses photography and film, alongside theatrical staging techniques,
to record people’s confessions and present herself in various guises and with
She spoke to Studio
International about the ideas behind her project.
Since the age of 16, my room has scarcely ever been without
a vase of flowers. It began when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Throughout my treatment – even when I was in an isolation ward and not allowed
them – people would send me beautiful bouquets. Their vivid colours and sweet
scents cheered up the room, but, as they began to fade, the omen of impending
death became too prescient and they had to be replaced by fresh specimens, full
of life and renewed hope. And so the cycle goes on. 20 years later. I survived.
The flowers die, but new ones take their place and accompany me on my journey.
For Sue Miles, flowers also played a significant role in her
cancer journey. Unfortunately, unlike me, she did not survive. Her stage 4 lung
cancer had already spread throughout her body by the time of diagnosis. But her
daughter, documentary photographer Celine Marchbank, made it her project –
their shared project, in fact – to capture on camera the last years of Sue’s
life. An edited compilation has now been published by Dewi Lewis Publishing as
the beautiful visual memoir, Tulip.
“This was obviously a very painful time for me, but I always felt it was
important to record it in some way,” writes Marchbank in the foreword. “I’m a
documentary photographer after all and so, more than ever, I felt the need to
record everything, like some kind of magpie collecting thoughts and moments
rather than shiny things.”