Footnotes presents work by four artists taking up studios at Crescent Arts in 2014;
Sarah Coggrave, Serena Partridge and artist partnership Caitlin and Andrew Webb-Ellis. By siting specific examples of their work together the exhibition references the broader practice and concerns of each artist and work that is to come. It invites comparisons and visitors to the exhibition will most probably be struck by contrasts between the works and use of very different media and approaches. However, there are parallels that become more apparent on closer scrutiny.
The performative strand provides a common ground and means to explore the relationships between lived, imagined or recorded experience and memory. It is worth mentioning that Sarah Coggrave has created a middle-aged spinster called Miss Pilchard, who frequently re-appears in her work, and some of Miss P’s sedentary aspirations can be enjoyed in this exhibition. Webb-Ellis show video documentation of a research performance they made in Berlin in 2013 and in Mother Again they explore the relationships between performance and life. The live performance acts as research and precursor to their current audio-visual installation, Mother. I am Going. Serena Partridge presents gloves as museum acquisitions, creating distance between the viewer and the maker, suggesting that someone else has selected and displayed the artifacts. The ‘someone else’ is the artist in another guise, an alter ego, reflecting on working behind the scenes at a museum.
Sarah Coggrave uses performance art as a form of research. This research frequently, but not always, investigates the histories of places, and involves the creation of characters, scenes and props. Stories emerge (mixtures of fact and fiction), which are acted out and documented. Serena Partridge’s work addresses the theme of loss, emotional and physical; lost possessions, loss of loved ones, lost relationships, the disappearance of Agatha Christie. The materials she uses have had previous lives: leather reclaimed from old gloves, silk and metal threads discovered in junk shops, paper from dressmaking patterns and human hair. Webb-Ellis work with performance, film, video and photography. Their work frequently investigates the role that film and photography play in the obliteration of ‘real’ memory, and how images and objects come to stand for, or take the place of, lived experience.