Jan 052019
 

Here are some photographs from the exhibition I recently put together, based around my book, Viewing Pleasure and Being A Showgirl, How Do I Look? Thanks to the artists who took part: Sophie Lisa Beresford, Julie Cook, Nwando Ebizie as Lady Vendredi, Alice Finch, Laura Gonzalez, Lucy Halstead, Sharon Kivland, Britten Leigh, Chloe Nightingale, and Isabella Streffen. 

Apr 052018
 
Left to right: Manifesto, 2017, Ascending A Staircase, Library Theatre, Sheffield, 2018, Ascending A Staircase, City Varieties, Leeds

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.

Jan 202018
 

Sean Williams’s exhibition For A Burning Love has transferred to The Old Lock Up, Cromford. 

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

Jan 162018
 

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.

 

 

Jul 182014
 

My work will be in Act II and Act III of S1 Member’s Show, Three Act Structure at S1 Artspace, Sheffield.  Act II is open 6th August–23rd August and Act III which is a re-mix of Acts I and II featuring all of the works is open 27th August–13th September.  The opening of the whole show was on 11th July, and now there is a programme of events that will take place during the subsequent Acts.

In particular there will be a publication and print portfolio launch on Friday 15th August and a screening and performance event on Saturday 6th September.  For the latter I am working on a new performance.

I’ll post more about the up-coming events–it’s a very exciting project to be involved in!

Jun 212010
 
Review of Leigh Ledare: The Confectioner’s Confectioner, 16th April – 5th June, Pilar Corrias, London
 
Leigh Ledare’s ongoing photography work generously reveals the relationship he has with his mother.  In the recent solo show at Pilar Corrias fragments from his childhood, notes written by Tina/Mom and himself make explicit some elements of their relationship.  Tina/Mom’s thoughts on models is a beautiful ode to the creativity of the photographer’s model, her informal hand-written will expose the love and trust she places in Leigh.  A narrative develops through the notes; the relationship with Dad ended, and Leigh, in some way become Mom’s man/boy.  She talked to him, revealed herself emotionally and physically.  As a ballet dancer, she was trained to be invested in her body, her artistic tool.  This is the back story.  One day, Tina/Mom asks Leigh to photograph her, to record her aging, vulnerable body now, before it is too late, before the flesh decays into an unphotographable state; before it can no longer be the object.  And so Leigh dutifully does.  Complicit in this recording, he is the third person in the room whilst Tina/Mom gets it on with Leigh-substitute boys.  Her acts performed for Leigh, a performance for his benefit.  Does she want to arouse Leigh?  Make him jealous?  Or push him to reject her out of repulsion for her sexuality, her aggressive exhibitionism designed to ensnare Leigh in an Oedipal game.  Does she want him to throw down the camera and fuck her, pushing aside his replacement?  Sometimes she is naked and alone, still enjoying her sexuality, but without a partner, less performed.  If Leigh did not record this, if he did not have his camera in the room, how would he have reacted?  How did he react, used as Tina/Mom’s sexual documenter?
 
Which answers the question, how can a sexually explicit photograph of a woman present without question the subjectivity of that woman, before or even preventing the objectification of that woman?  Through the Oedipal narrative, Leigh becomes less the exploiting photographer and more an equal participant with the subject.  The two locked into their fixed positions.  The captions with the photographs, descriptively position the image contents.  But even without such contexts, within the image frame, the faint silvery traces of stretch marks on Tina/Mom’s stomach testify to her mother status and jar with her version of maternal she is therefore enacting.
 
Leigh reaches beyond this project to challenge his own position from outside this mother-son courtship.  Understanding the plane of representation as ‘the site of the trauma’, the place in which his Mom revealed herself to him, but in a sense foreclosed other possibilities of their relationship, he places himself in Mom’s position by re-enacting her fantasies by being the fantasy for other women.  Leigh becomes women’s object, the Leigh-object: a gift for mother?  Leigh-photographer becomes Leigh-model relinquishing the responsibilities of the lens.