Juno Calypso won the series award with her beguiling commentary on beauty and femininity told through self-portraiture and her fictional character ‘Joyce’. Joyce was first created in 2011 and consolidated her use of self-portraiture for over twenty years. Last year Calypso took Joyce to a couples-only resort in Pennsylvania, spending a week alone in the Honeymoon Suite with a suitcase of wigs and wedding lingerie. Over the course of the week she produced new images and videos, self-portraits as Joyce all alone in this surreally staged fallen utopia of love and happily ever after. Archaic instruments of beauty became eerie accessories of something a lot more unsettling, turning the mirror back on our own fascinations with perfection. “I perform solitary studies into rituals of seduction and the laboured construction of femininity. Objects once perceived as radical, fun and nutritious – an electronic anti-wrinkle mask, baby oil, a tin of cold meat – have become joyless and oppressive. Joyce appears alone, consumed by artifice. Her glazed appearance acting as a mirror to the exhaustion felt whilst bearing the dead weight of constructed femininity.” In the main gallery will be a series of prints of the series, whilst in the back gallery there will be a projection of her video “The Honeymoon Suite”.
‘Single Image’ winner Felicity Hammond will present the image from her series ‘Restore To Factory Settings’ as an installation, incorporating sculpture and elements of the gallery space. Her title refers to forgotten industries, and a dystopian urban dream lying in ruins. The image is a large-scale photographic collage and coloured blue - the colour of a computer screen when it is unable to transmit information; it is a miscommunication, an error report, a simulation or substitution. It is also the blueprint, the planning of the future yet also its failure, as piles of detritus, tyres and twisted metal lie redundant in her constructed landscapes. The images were taken on sites of urban regeneration, including Stratford in the run-up to the Olympics, and former factories in north London. “Manufacturing and industrial process has been discarded, and I am interested in the way in which these sites which were once producers of power, have now become a product of it. The reference to the digital realm, and the ‘error report’ (the blue screen and the factory settings) comes from my interest in the interplay between the rise of digital technologies and the decline in manufacturing.”