Leisure: Meredith Carruthers & Susannah Wesley, : Arranging Time/ Chorégraphie temporelle
January 17–February 7, 2015


Meredith Carruthers & Susannah Wesley (Leisure)
Arranging Time/ Chorégraphie temporelle
Opens: Saturday January 17th 3-6pm
January 17- February 7, 2015

Arranging Time/ Chorégraphie temporelle, brings together works by Carruthers and Wesley which explore the historic role of women in ephemeral creative production – particularly strategies of collaboration, spatialised movement and gesture.  Shared Armature (2013) and Choregraphie Florale (2013), explore the creative relationship between painter Gluck and the revolutionary British florist and educator Constance Spry.  Time Capsule is a new short video inspired by a series of still life photographs taken by society photographer and suffragette “Madame Yevonde” in the late 1930s. Shown together, these works present a beguiling and fragile ecosystem of objects, gestures and spaces, asking can visual languages communicate across space and time?

Shared Armature (2013) and Choregraphie Florale (2013), are large format digital prints that explore the active potentials of choosing, framing and reframing, highlighting the role of selection, exchange and display as creative mediums. Inspired by the creative dialogue of floral artist Constance Spry (1886-1960) and painter Gluck (1895-1978) these works delve into the gaps and shadows of historical documentation with the aim of activating and inhabiting the underlying framework of a shared visual and formal vocabulary.

As creative practitioners both Spry and Gluck were preoccupied by the conditions in which their creative works might be displayed. Both artists dedicated considerable time and energy to fabricate custom “frames” and “containers” for their creative endeavors. Inverting the usual order of things, (Gluck’s frames are reverse beveled, dying away into the wall rather than jutting out, Spry’s vases are fragile shells that seem to be cast from the interior spaces of other vessels) both artists articulate nebulous boundaries that considered in parallel are charged with potential.

The Time Capsule video is inspired by a series of 1938 “Tattoo Study” photographs taken by society photographer Madame Yevonde (1893-1975).  Set against a studio backdrop, Yevonde’s Tattoo Studies include a repertoire of fairly mundane objects, things we could imagine might be readily to hand in a portrait studio - knotted ropes, odd bits of fabric, a feather butterfly, a fruit tree – but the resulting images are complex and weird, transforming these stagey bits of tat into something else… Photographed in series and animated by the arms of protagonists outside the frame, the objects suggest a kind of narration, a story that although unknown and unpredictable, vibrates with urgency and relevance.

Time Capsule, records our own version of this kind of activated still life – a staged atmosphere for improvisation and imaginative leaps. Populating the space between backdrop and camera with objects that surround us in our creative production and everyday experience, we attempt to “still” and distill a transitory moment of our own lives. Working performatively with these objects, we capture a moment of the present, or fabricate a narrative of the past, for an unknown future - traveling forwards and backwards, blurring the borders of future, past, and present.