Kirsty Buchanan / Juno Calypso / Hannah Ford / Nicola Frimpong / Katerina Jebb
Curated by Sarah Cleaver
2 September – 1 October 2016
Gallery Open: Friday - Sunday, 12-6pm
Preview: Thursday 1 September 6-9pm
With its horror-filled connotations of madness and perversity on the one hand, and its elevated status as a tool for creative genius on the other, the concept of solitude has long fascinated society in general and the creative community in particular. ‘One can never be alone enough to write,’ noted Susan Sontag (paraphrasing Kafka) in her diary. Great minds from French artist and dedicated diarist Eugène Delacroix and scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal to Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky have extolled the benefits of learning to enjoy your own company. In 1929 Virginia Woolf argued for the necessity of both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by men. Contrastingly, the fear of isolation and ‘ending up alone’, played on in films from The Shining (1980)to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), contributes to a growing movement of monophobia resulting in a need for constant connectivity. The School of Life now teaches a course on How to be Alone, exploring both the anxiety surrounding and rewards resulting from a more solitary life.
Isolation Chamber Vacation is an exhibition of artist’s responses to the subject of ‘aloneness’ and exploration of cultural representations of solitude. The work of five artists; Juno Calypso, Hannah Ford, Kirsty Buchanan, Nicola Frimpong and Katerina Jebb, will be shown alongside contexualising objects and ephemera from curator Sarah’s research into the theme. These objects include artists’ books, as well as letters, back-issues of magazines and a library of ‘recommended reading’.
Further examination into this pertinent topic will be provided with a series of talks and film screenings, which will take place at intervals throughout the duration of the exhibition and a special issue of art fanzine Arty, guest edited by Sarah Cleaver. Films showing include Repulsion (1965), Paris, Texas (1984), Morvern Callar (2002) and In The Realms of the Unreal(2004). Speakers include film researcher Mary Wild, author and travel writer Anna Stothard, and the School of Life’s Sarah Stein Lubrano.