Freya Dooley: The song settles inside of the body it borrows

30 Mar 2019 – 26 May 2019

Event times

Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun: 12-6pm
Thu, Fri: 12-8pm
Mon: Closed

Cost of entry



Wales, United Kingdom


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Freya Dooley’s work combines literary and pop cultural references to create unstable semi-fictions and dense soundtracks. Often referring or returning to anxious states, her work attempts to articulate an inside turned out.


The Host (2019), is a new multi-screen audio-visual work that takes Mark Twain’s 1876 short story ‘A Literary Nightmare’, as it’s departure point, in which the protagonist is tormented by an earworm jingle and only finds relief by passing this affliction on to an unwitting audience. Elaborating on the real and imagined experiences of a reluctant host to dream-like states, stubborn parasites and repeated riffs, Dooley explores the effects of listening on our emotional and physical states.

The exhibition also features the recent work Speakable Things (2018) that connects Greek mythology, pop music, opera, television and ‘guilty pleasure’ in a fragmented visual essay.

Meandering between lip-syncs and landscapes, song and speech, melody and cacophony, the film's lyrical narratives explore the loss, leakage and leverage of the voice.

The song settles inside of the body it borrows deviates from existing literary narratives to explore the potential and limitations of the voice, consumed bodies and occupied minds.

Alongside the exhibition is Find joy in these scenes of fruitless labours, Dooley’s new commission in the Café Bar that is produced in collaboration with Foundation Press, an experimental risograph press based in Sunderland.

About the artist

Freya Dooley is an artist based in Cardiff. She works with writing, moving image, sound and performance and is interested in the voice as a conduit between sound and language, thought and body.

Her exhibition ‘Somewhere in the crowd there’s you’ runs concurrently at Eastside Projects in Birmingham.

Freya also shares a collaborative practice with artist Cinzia Mutigli, and their performance ‘Being Sharon’, about their lives intertwining with their favourite soap operas, was commissioned by Chapter for Experimentica in 2018. Dooley recently received a Jerwood Visual Arts bursary and was shortlisted for the Kleinwort Hambros Emerging Artist Prize (2019). Other recent solo commissions include ‘Speakable Things’, Oriel Davies, Powys (2018); and ‘Rhythms and Disturbances’, g39, Cardiff (2016).

This exhibition is supported by Arts Council of Wales.


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Hannah Firth

Exhibiting artists

Freya Dooley

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