The book that emerges from my PhD thesis was recently published by Routledge.
About the book:
Drawing on interviews with a breadth of different showgirls, from shows in Paris, Las Vegas, Berlin, and Los Angeles, as well as her own artworks and those by other contemporary and historical artists, this book examines the experiences of showgirls and those who watch them, to challenge the narrowness of representations and discussions around what has been termed ‘sexualisation’ and ‘the gaze’. An account of the experience of being ‘looked at’, the book raises questions of how the showgirl is represented, the nature of the pleasure that she elicits and the suspicion that surrounds it, and what this means for feminism and the act of looking.
An embodied articulation of a new politics of looking, Viewing Pleasure and Being a Showgirl engages with the idea (reinforced by feminist critique) that images of women are linked to selling and that women’s bodies have been commodified in capitalist culture, raising the question of whether this enables particular bodies – those of glamorous women on display – to become scapegoats for our deeper anxieties about consumerism.
Rowan Bailey put together the first show at the Market Gallery as part of the Temporary Contemporary collaboration between the University of Huddersfield and Kirklees Council and the Huddersfield covered market. Space, Place Action brought together the research staff at the university. I used the opportunity to test out my new series of theatre interior photographs, Ascending A Staircase.
Sean Williams’s exhibition For A Burning Love has transferred to The Old Lock Up, Cromford. The exhibition opening afternoon was really great, the exhibition remains open until 25th February
Contemporary British Painting featured the show in it’s newsletter:
For a Burning Love
In January ‘For a Burning Love’ moves to the Old Lock Up Gallery in Cromford, a space that, fittingly some might say, used to be a jail. ‘For a Burning Love‘ celebrates and demonstrates the breadth of contemporary painting and includes works by Mandy Payne and Sean Williams. It encompasses highly-detailed realism and gestural abstraction, paintings that are almost sculptures and photographs interrupted by the introduction of paint. In this way ‘For a Burning Love’ questions what a painting might be and so, in turn, questions our fixed ideas about most things. ‘For a Burning Love’ may also offer a clue into why artists choose to use paint over other media to express their ideas and explore possibilities.
The Old Lock Up Gallery
19 The Hill, Swifts Hollow, Cromford, Derbyshire, DE4 3QHJ
Preview: Saturday January 20th, 1 – 4pm
Exhibition dates: 20 January – 25 February
Opening times: Thursday – Saturday 11am – 6pm, Sunday 11am -4.30pm
Square Peg, an ArtCan Members exhibition at the Circle Gallery, Sheffield, is open from 2 February – 30 March 2018. The show restricts works to 2ft x 2ft dimensions and considers artist’s experiences of being square pegs in round holes, curated by my good friend, Kate Enters–lovely to have her visiting Sheffield to put it together! Exhibition catalogue online here.
I used the opportunity to show photographs from the Library Theatre.
A chapter I have written on the representation of strippers in the media and contemporary art has been published. It is in the Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality by Clarissa Smith, Feona Attwood and Brian McNair.
In it, I write about pop videos, films, popular feminist critical perspectives, academic writing, and activism. I also write about artworks including the Girlie Show by Edward Hopper, Lucky 13 by Philip-Lorca Di Corca, The Politics of Rehearsal by Francis Alys, Abstraction Licking by Christina Lucas, Cosey Fanni Tutti’s collages, Strip by Jemima Stehli, performance pieces Strike a Pose by Kate Spence, and Sister by Rosana and Amy Cade.
I took part in an innovative panel discussion, a symposium created by Victoria Lucas, in January, at HOME in Manchester. You can watch the event here.
Chelsea Collage of Art Library is showing the Sharon Kivland’s Report on Knowledge/Library Interventions, Monday 23 May to Friday 17 June. I took part in the project and for it, I photography the naughty bits. Sharon’s choice of image from the many I took is on display.