Category: Work in Progress

(Dis)ordering the City

(Dis)ordering the City: Buildings, Bodies and Urban Space

Emily Speed in conversation with Duncan Light

As part of the Practising Place programme, In Certain Places is proud to present an evening with artist Emily Speed in conversation with human geographer Dr Duncan Light, hosted by the Bluecoat.

Panoply

The event will focus on the making and reshaping of urban space. In particular, it will explore the relationship between official urban planning processes and the subversion of city spaces by the people who use them. Drawing upon their own creative and academic research, Speed and Light

will examine the ways in which urban spaces are performed, and how certain practices – such as walking, urban exploration and the creation of ‘desire lines’ – might be viewed as tactics for ‘disordering’ the city.

Dr Duncan Light is senior lecturer in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University. A human geographer by background, he worked for 20 years in Liverpool before moving to Bournemouth. He has research interests in urban landscapes, particularly in Romania (a country he has visited regularly for more than 20 years). In particular, his research has explored the efforts to remake the ‘official public landscape’ created by Romania’s communist regime in the post-communist period. He has published papers on these issues in a range of journals and has also contributed chapters to a number of recent edited volumes about post-communist change.

Practising Place is a programme of public conversations, designed to examine the relationship between art practice and place. Each event is hosted at a different venue and explores a specific aspect of place by bringing artists together with people from different backgrounds, who share a common area of interest.

Practising Place forms part of the In Certain Places project, which is based in the School of Art, Design and Fashion at the University of Central Lancashire, and is funded by the Arts Council of England.

(Image: Detail from ‘Panoply’ by Emily Speed – a commissioned work, made for the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool as part of the TOPOPHOBIA exhibition. Photo by Mark Reeves.)

Recent things..

Troy Town in-progressLast month I spent two weeks at Troy Town Art Pottery working on some new ceramic pieces as a collaboration with Ben Cove. Updates to follow when they have been taken out of the kiln (if they all survive..)

I was really pleased to show a drawing from my Body/Building series and some artists’ books with Day & Gluckman at Sluice Art Fair. The rest of the ‘Body/Building’ series are currently on display as part of Fabric Spaces as PIANOFABRIEK in Brussels, curated by Sevie Tsampalla.

I’ll be going quiet for a while to get into the studio, do some writing and to finish off a few new editions. I will be back on 5th February next year with a wearable sculpture work for an event at the Wellcome Collection.

 

Basic Principles for Building Construction

This will be a new work commissioned by Wewiora Projects for Northern Art Car Booty and two performances of the piece will take place on Sunday 30th August 2015.

Expanding on a costume piece made the previous year – a hybrid of clothing and architectural shapes – the work has been developed since as the first official collaboration between my twin sister Ruth Eaton and I (although she has been sewing various things behind the scenes for me over the last few years). Ruth is interested in workwear and the functionality of clothing.

Using three performers and more complex forms, ‘Basic Principles for Building Construction’ will depend on the tension between the three bodies to build and maintain a space; dress becomes wall, body becomes support and the walls finally collapse to become soft wrappings once more. Images are from Ruth’s recent ‘Strategy’ and ‘Utility’ collections.

Ruth Eaton, Strategy Collection 2015 (detail) Ruth Eaton, Utility Collection (detail), 2014

All the women

As it’s International Women’s Day it seems like a good time to mention that I shall be off to the states in May and June for six weeks to work on a Rosendale Cultural Crossroads Public Art Residency in New York State with Women’s Studio Workshop. I did one of my first ever residencies at WSW back in 2007 and made a limited edition artist’s book called ‘Unfolding Architecture’. I am thrilled to be going back! The picture below (a detail from Masaccio’s Saints Jerome and John the Baptist) is a tiny clue to what will be going on when I am looking at the relationship people in the town have with the architecture there.

MasaccioI also have a group show coming up in April called Indefinable Cities but more about that soon…

Unbuilt Library

Next week I will have some small works, some that date as far back as 2005, leaving the studio for the first time to be exhibited at Mrs Rick’s Cupboard (thanks for the invitation Craig Fisher):

Fragment

P.V: 12 February 2015 (7 – 9pm)

13 February – 26 March 2015    Open Friday 12-4pm

Mrs Rick’s Cupboard is pleased to invite you to our next exhibition, ‘Unbuilt Library’ by Emily Speed.

Each model in the Unbuilt Library is a reading room designed for the reading of a specific book or text, with space for only one or very occasionally, two readers.  Speed is interested in the relationship between the body and architecture and the book/spaces featured in this library all make this connection and have been particularly influential on Speed’s practice; literature is often a significant part of her research. The shape, materials and size of these intimate spaces are chosen according to the text itself, taking cues from the events, characters and tone. The models (or perhaps, unrealised sculptures) have been made over a long period of time, the earliest in 2007 and the most recent in 2015. 

The architectural model itself is also of great interest to Speed as a medium that presents an ideal; existing as pure potential. Models are delicate, yet symbolic of power, because they can be held and even destroyed by human hands (the city, literally in your grasp) and they also provide an unusual situation, where one can be fully outside of a space and see the whole.

Mrs Rick’s Cupboard

33 Seely Road
Nottingham
NG7 1NU
United Kingdom

The Boulder Project

Granite Boulder GloucesterTomorrow I shall be heading for Cape Ann, Massachusetts for a few weeks, to work on a short research project. At the invitation of Jane Deering, I shall be working in a small village there for a period of time that is intended to give artists some time and space to create new work.

At the property there is a huge granite boulder in the garden, which used to have this amazing pavilion/bandstand structure upon it. The whole area has a mass of large granite boulders left during the last ice age and I love the idea of these huge stubborn things left unmoved for centuries. An abandoned quarry town nearby, Dogtown, is now a natural park with the old roads acting as footpaths. Here, a philanthropist, Roger Babson hired stone cutters to inscribe boulders on the old common with words of inspiration during the Great Depression. I have no idea what will happen here but I shall let you know.

Map of the inscriptions Map of the inscriptions