Hannah James: breaking A skin, weaving A sense

4 Dec 2014 – 20 Dec 2014

Save Event: Hannah James: breaking A skin, weaving A sense

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London, United Kingdom


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  • Aldgate East, Liverpool Street
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breaking A skin, weaving A sense brings together a collection of works which examine the psychological distinctions between body and space.


. Space is a temptation, a pursuit. The difference between me and it ebbs and flows. Sometimes I can locate myself and others not. I am in my body but other times I break my skin and pass to the other side

The works reference architecture and its affects; how we encounter, react, absorb, camouflage and rupture from these physical structures, and the emotional and psychological responses this causes. Moments of discord are of particular interest; where normal service has been interrupted and we find ourselves within a moment of rupture. Through these points of rupture a new sensory rationale is established: where forms of chaos take over from order, where logical thought is forsaken for twisted reason and where psychological disruptions are expanded into material forms to be inhabited and embodied by the viewer.

Within each work in the exhibition a moment of discord can be recognised. These moments have developed from research into several key figures from architectural and psychological theory: Giovanni Battista Piranesi, a 17th century architectural artist, Gottfried Semper, an 18th century architect and theorist and Roger Caillois, a 20th century theorist. Each of these thinkers have been used to build a methodology that examines the break down of a distinction between body and space.

James works with textiles and ‘soft’ materials to create a temporal form of architecture: one that moves, reacts to bodies and creates both a transparency and opaqueness. At Cole, a choreography of space and sound leads the body from habitat to habitat. The slippages between what we see and hear, and what we feel and think are continually kept in motion. Further to this, the authority of who is speaking and who is listening is challenged. The architecture that is suggested within breaking A skin, weaving A sense embodies both a physical and cognitive space. Within the provisional structures built from textile and woven plastics, voice creates its own form of architecture: a headspace. The recurrent voice within the exhibition is female, and as she guides the viewer from one room to another it is from her perspective that one is able to see more clearly.

Hannah James (b.1985, Nottingham) lives and works in Rotterdam. Hannah graduated from The Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2014 and The University of the West of England, Bristol in 2007. Upcoming & recent exhibitions include: Chert, Berlin, 2015 (solo); John Smith: The Posthuman, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, 2014 Kairos Time, Tent, Rotterdam, 2014; To continue. Notes towards A Sculpture Cycle, Nomas Foundation, Rome, 2014; Decorative Grammar, Gowlett Peaks, London, 2014; The outline seems indelible (solo), Plymouth Art College Gallery, Plymouth, 2013;Easy does it, Aid + Abet, Cambridge, Supercollider, Blackpool, David Dale, Glasgow, 2013.

The exhibition includes a newly commissioned text by George Vasey.


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