The exhibition investigates the influence of cultural identity and collective consciousness on work value structures and parochial mentalities - that we are each subject to under the social conditions placed upon us. In this present turbulent cultural context, which is moving away from the ideals of cultural and economic unity towards a more decentralised Europe, the work looks to the experience of migrancy and the diverse community of the Falcon Road area in which the gallery is located. An economically deprived island in the wealthier London borough of Wandsworth, the Falcon Road runs through Clapham Junction railway station to Battersea high street, an area undergoing rapid demographic change. Up the Junction examines these cultural conditions with the intention to open up a critical dialogue and artistic interventions with the work in the gallery space. This will form as a closing event curated in collaboration with independent Artist /Curator Dr Kirsten Cooke.
The exhibition borrows its title from the 1979 song Up the Junction, by the British new-wave band Squeeze - a song which still resonates with locals of the Asparagus pub on the Flacon Road. The title originated from a collection of short stories by Neil Dunn in 1963. It was adapted by Ken Loach in 1965 for the seminal BBC1 anthology series The Wednesday Play. Loach subsequently made a cinema version in 1968 giving Squeeze the title for their song. Using the various associations afforded from the cockney rhyming phrase “up the junction” each manifestation of the same name refers to class issues, colloquialisms and portrayal of life in the area of Clapham Junction in a moment of great change.
Central to the exhibition is The realm, 22.01.2016 – 31.07.2016, (2016) an architectural sound installation created from field recordings in the environment of the Falcon Road area. This is set in relation to The Great British Chip, (2016) a film and sculptural work considering invisible labour. Place alongside this is In my country we, (2015) - a film work that manipulates a landscape view of a train moving through the Irish countryside to a soundtrack which re-purposes Bedřich Smetana’s Vltava, one of 6 symphonic poems from his 1874 symphony Má Vlast or ''My country'.
An Irish Artist based in London, Bligh practices through various different medium - often employing archival methodologies, through artistic and curatorial collaborations. She has been project, research and editorial assistant on various projects at the Cooper Gallery Dundee, 2011-13 and CHELSEA space, London 2013, being awarded their Chelsea Arts Club Trust Research Fellowship for 2014 – 2015. She is currently Archive Assistant & Researcher for the Barry Flanagan Estate Archive. She has received the Travel and Training Award, 2011 from the Arts Council of Ireland, and the DJCAD European Postgraduate Scholarship 2011.
Exhibitions and projects include: Concrete Plastic, curated by KollActiv, LACA, Los Angeles, USA, October 2016, & London December 2017. Staging Concrete Plastic, publication curated by KollActiv,ARMSEYE ISSUE II/WINTER 2016. Copy-editor for Hubs and Fictions On Current Art and Imported Remoteness, Sophia Y. Hao & Ajay Hothi (Eds). Sternberg Press (forthcoming 2016). Sound recordist, and photographic contributor for A Cut A Scratch A Score, A Comic Opera in Three Parts, by David Barnett, Sam Belinfante and Bruce Mclean, Sophia Y. Hao & Ajay Hothi (Eds), Cornerhouse Publications, 2015. Bligh’s recent invitations to make sound installations included: Kwartz Kapital Konstruction Kollider at BEACONSFIELD, London, (2014). Flat 15|12, for Balfron Season, in association with Bow Arts, London (2014) and 190A Retelling, MART, Dublin (2013).