An introduction to Trapezius and a welcome to Flora Parrott and Lisa Gunn to the Herbert blog
It’s been a little while since I last blogged; this has mainly been due to the fact that we’ve been installing our new Egypt exhibition. It really has been a whole Herbert team effort leaving little time for anything else. However now that ‘Secret Egypt‘ has launched to great success, it is time to turn to my attention to other projects and exhibitions occurring in 2011.
Next up for me is a really exciting contemporary art exhibition which is being created by two very talented artists. This post is my chance to introduce you Flora and Lisa, explain a little about the exhibition and to let you know that they will our be added to our guest bloggers for the next few months.
First a little about each artist. Lisa Gunn may actually be a name known to many of you who have already visited the Herbert, we actually have a work of hers hanging in the ‘Art since 1900‘ gallery. For those who haven’t had chance to visit us yet, here’s some background information. Lisa was born and grew up in Coventry and studied for her BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Coventry University before moving to London to study for a Masters in Printmaking at The Royal College of Art.
Lisa’s work is primarily concerned with her personal and physical relationship to her own body and the trauma it has suffered after she experienced severe spinal injuries from a road traffic accident. The accident left her dependent on a wheelchair. It is through her art we can see her struggle to come to terms with the loss of mobility, and be accepted within a society that often ignores the less abled and views them as imperfect.
She explains further:
‘I believe my body art has become more about the abject body over time through personal life experience… an aesthetic response to the intense physical and emotional sensations that have arisen from physical trauma. [It is] about overcoming adversity. I believe the works emanate strength, resilience, vitality and the power to overcome social stigma.’
Flora Parrott also graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2009; in fact this is where she and Lisa met. Her work focuses an artistic response to physical sensations, often those that are instinctive and performed without thought. In her own words she explains:
‘The idea of holding in a breath and trapping the air in your lungs is something I find simultaneously immensely calming and appealing as well as claustrophobic and suffocating. Wrangling with the desire to be in opposite states at the same time makes me visualise static forms that are stuck in a tense sort of inertia – on the brink of bursting.’
Her works will often mix printmaking, collage and sculpture to produce a presentation of a physical experience – what happens when you breathe or your muscles relax and tense.
For the Trapezius exhibition, the artists are creating brand new works which continue to explore their own influences as artists but will focus on the human spinal column and its ability to heal and repair itself over time. Both artists were also inspired to include objects from the Herbert’s own natural history collection and, in a very special event, they will project some of the works from the exhibition onto the ruins of the original Coventry Cathedral, further strengthening the exhibition’s connection to the City.
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what you might see in the exhibition; I’ll leave it up to the artists themselves however to explain their own practice and works in more detail. During the months of February, March and April, Flora and Lisa will each be blogging about the development and installation of the exhibition. The aim is to give you a unique insight into the preparation and installation of an exhibition at the Herbert and allow you to get to know some of the artists that we work with a little better.