Cassiopeia is Hannah Rae Alton (London), Catrin Morgan (Nottingham), Amy Goodwin (Cornwall) Irene Vidal Cal (Galicia, Spain), and Anne Harild (Copenhagen). Named after a constellation in the Northern hemisphere composed of five stars, the project aims to explore and foreground the importance of research and pursuing your interests, not just for artists but for everyone. As a group of collaborators their interests are in systems of knowledge, particularly those relating to communication and architectural structures.
Cassiopeia: Hip at A.P.T Gallery in Deptford is the second part of the Cassiopeia project. As a set of collaborators who not only share research interests but also particular research methodologies, the exhibition is an opportunity to develop new ways of communicating these to the public.
Being interested in what’s around you and looking further is something that can be valuable to everyone especially if you then go on to respond creatively to your findings. The artists’ work explores the joy of uncovering something secret or the pleasure that can be found when you pay attention to things (such as scaffolding) that might appear banal or every-day. Research into cryptography highlights the strangeness and beauty of written language and studying buildings allows the group to consider them as structures for organising people and information.
Cassiopeia is a project that will continue throughout 2016. In November there will be an exhibition at Guest Projects in Hackney and the artists are planning to document the year in a publication. Each part of the project is a development of and a response to the last one. In February 2017 the group hopes to return to Primary to complete the project with a final exhibition.
Anne, Hannah and Catrin met whilst studying at the Royal College of Art where they discovered shared interests in architecture and cryptography. Anne and Hannah worked on a collaborative project in Berefet and Njawara, Gambia, where knowledge about traditional music and culture was shared and Hannah worked with some of the Gambian collaborators to make crystal radios, allowing them important access to national media. In 2013, Hannah and Catrin exhibited work looking at radio and code breaking at Bletchley Park. Amy and Irene met on an MA at Falmouth University where Catrin now teaches. They realised that they had a shared interest in cryptography when, after visiting one of Catrin’s shows, Amy and Irene began to email her in Morse Code. They have been discussing work and research as a group since 2015 and first exhibited together in February 2016.
Irene Vidal's practice communicates a particular view about popular culture, historic resonances and the poetics of politics. She works with revisions and appropriation of history in order to merge factual occurrences and fiction within her practice. Her work is currently examining the popular archive within the context of the Franco dictatorship in Spain. She has participated in programs such as Apprentice/Master Exhibitions at Kunstpodium T (Tilburg, The Netherlands) and is currently undertaking a collaborative residency at the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum as an artist and researcher in their archive.
Amy Goodwin’s practice uses the traditional craft of sign painting to explore the heritage and stories of the traveling fairground. She enjoys uncovering myths and dubious narratives, which are then documented through narrative layers in her sign-painting. In Autumn 2016 Amy will begin a practice-based PhD undertaking the construction of ‘an archive of illustrated space’: constructing more fixed and definite identities for the fairground-women. She has worked with Giffords Circus and Carters Steam Fair and runs ongoing workshops with archives and primary schools in Cornwall. She is currently undertaking a collaborative residency at the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, responding to their archive material through research and practice.
Primarily drawing based, Hannah Rae Alton’s work also involves small-scale sculpture and film. Her main area of interest is the process of communication: how it is successful, when it breaks down. This focus has led her to make work about the physical function of radio, historical documents (Horror: Lightning In Serene Sky, 2011-12, commissioned by the Armitt Museum) and cryptography at Bletchley Park, (The Wondrous Tale of Alice and Bob, 2012, ArtHertz). Her research and drawing project, Dennis Wilson: Passage (2014) investigates the dissemination of historical information online and the internet archive in a loosely narrative format. Hannah has run workshops for Frieze, the Roald Dahl Museum, New Vic 6th form college, and MA Authorial Illustration at Falmouth University, as well as teaching regular life drawing classes in London.
Anne Harild makes work that is based on research and investigations of the built environment, the systems and structures that support, shape and guide our daily lives. Anne works in a variety of medium e.g. collage, sculpture and stop-frame animation. Most recently Anne was ARMA artist in residence at The Bluecoat, Liverpool. She has exhibited in group shows in the UK and abroad among others as part of Atelier a Habiter at z.33 (Belgium), Paradigm Store at 5 Howick place (London) and Shadow Lines at Tintype gallery (London) as well as creating site specific images for Art on the Underground which are on display in various tube stations in London. Furthermore Anne has facilitated workshops and worked on collaborative projects with schools and community groups for among others Tate Britain, Camden Arts Centre and The Frieze Art Fair.
Catrin Morgan’s practice explores the relationship between text and image with a particular interest in creating work governed by underlying frameworks, rules and hidden meanings. Most of her projects are conceived in relation with the book format, from limited edition artist books to mainstream publishing. Her research on the Taxonomy of Deception developed into a PhD at the Royal College of Art, a project closely connected with her illustrations for Ben Marcus' novel The Age of Wire and String, commissioned and published by Granta Books (2013). Catrin teaches at Norwich University of the Arts and Falmouth University and has facilitated workshops for the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.