As Leverhulme artist-in-residence at the University of Sheffield's Department of Psychology, Rachel Genn has researched and created stories for characters in a quasi-institution: The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret (NFRR).
These fictional characters have regret-related disturbances and their stories are narrated by their personal possessions: Lassie Fortune, a body dysmorphic woman who does her own plastic surgery, whose art therapy work (by visual artist Sally Wickenden, and Rachel Genn) is displayed in the main gallery of the NFRR; Karl a gambler crippled by superstition, and Jonny, a middle-aged actor who stalks a famous middle-aged rock musician – think Jarvis Cocker – writing love letters, lyrics, and creating life-sized dress-up dolls, and accompanying costumes.
The dolls were designed by UK-based writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh, and constructed by Square Pebble. Joanna also designed and made an anatomically correct soft mini-doll that sleeps under Jonny's bed.
The installation at Sheffield's Bank Street Arts, which continues until end of March 2015, was set up as Lassie Fortune’s first solo art show, and is the beginning of a larger project. The content from the installation will go on to be used in an interactive documentary, exploring bittersweet regret through the NFRR in ways that reveal unexpected connections between art, literature, music and science, using methods only possible in a digital space.
Via direct submission | Photography by Rachel Smith