UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 27 JANUARY 2017
We are delighted to announce that the Vittoria Street Gallery will be hosting a solo exhibition of work by international artist, Jessa Fairbrother. Armour studies (regarding skin) will be on show at the Vittoria Street Gallery, from 16 January - 17 February 2017.
As a photographic artist using textile techniques, Jessa’s work crosses over disciplinary boundaries, and she is interested to explore the body as both vessel and surface. Employing self-portraiture, the artist’s body hovers on the edge of being the material and subject as she explores the connection between her form and the exterior world. This solo exhibition brings together a collection of works where she performs within the image and upon it, cladding her physical identity in armour to protect it from her own disappointments and the viewer’s scrutiny.
Describing the photographic image as provocation, she interrupts the surface of photographs using sewing needles to puncture hand-made prints, either embroidering or creating textural adornments suggestive of lace and engraved metal. In perforating this exterior layer, she invites the viewer to think of the skin not only as an embodiment of selfhood but as a body that both touches and is touched. Her concerns originate in attempts to identify feelings beyond the embodied form, confronting gestures of fallibility and the body’s relentless failures.
Photography, performance and a needle are central to Jessa’s practice. She uses the body-as-site and is concerned with making explicit the moment when performed gestures and the gaze of the viewer collide. She searches for communal meanings defined and given shape through the presence of a figure and makes long-term work about how this writes itself upon the body. The purpose of thread, mark-making and stitch are central, physically piercing and extending the image-object beyond a single moment of time and space. She frequently appears in her own images, then pierces and embroiders to employ process as mindful action, making textural surfaces that literally and metaphorically puncture the skin of the photograph.
Jessa studied for her MA at the University of Westminster in Photographic Studies from 2008-10 and has since exhibited widely, including group shows at Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna – Handmade III, Salisbury Arts Centre – Threads, and Cornerhouse in Manchester – Lost is Found. She has also participated in several Open Exhibitions including The Discerning Eye at The Mall Galleries in London and the RWA in Bristol. In 2004-5, she had solo exhibitions across the public libraries of Pembrokeshire / Oriel Queens Hall Gallery with her work on memorial benches, entitled An Important View, funded by the Arts Council of Wales. She is the recipient of awards and honourable mentions in the UK, Europe and Canada and, in 2016 Jessa self-published her Artist book, Conversations with my Mother which is held in public collections at Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Alongside this exhibition, Talking Practice will host ‘In Conversation with Jessa Fairbrother’, at which she will be invited to discuss her creative practice in dialogue with Sian Hindle. This will be followed by a private view and the opportunity to meet the artist.‘In Conversation…’will take place at the School of Jewellery (5-6pm on Thursday 2nd February), followed by an opportunity to talk with the artist from 6-7pm.
The exhibition opens Monday 16th January until Friday 17th February 2017 and takes place at the Vittoria Street Gallery. The exhibition is open for viewing Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, term time only. Please note the gallery is not open at weekends.