Documentation from my exhibition at Bloc Projects as part of Platform 2019 exhibitions for the Freelands Artist Programme artists. With thanks to Jules Lister for the photos. The exhibition is open until 31st August, info here Bloc and Site.
Ascending a Staircase, is a photographic series of theatre interiors in venues across the North of England. The images aim to probe the historical contexts of performance and to ask questions of the format itself: what did access to a career onstage mean? What kind of visibility did the theatrical stage offer? What were the limitations?
Using the staircases up to or from the stage as a device that opens up these questions, the compositions locate these stairs within the wider framework of theatrical architectural. By using the visual clues of the architecture, women are invited into the theatre to be looked at—but this offer is limited, the theatre is not a neutral space for the presentation of self. The photographs present the gilding, ornate decoration, plush velvets, as well as the didactic signs, for example ‘No Smoking’, which all condition our viewing—much like the regimes we encounter beyond the theatre that similarly shape our vision.