In a new exhibition at the London Art Fair next month, ten older female photographers will explore the "space" that they inhabit, both in terms of their gender and age.
Occupy the Void will feature work by Wendy Aldiss, Samantha Brown, Elaine Duigenan, Miranda Gavin, Elizabeth Heyert, Sandra Jordan, Rosy Martin, Mercedes Parodi, Danielle Peck and Kim Shaw. Each photographer will take a closer look at how women occupy space; the psychological and personal view of space; and the notion of time and the abstract in space.
Curator Laura Noble said: "A void is somewhere where we are put, relegated to or overlooked. Older women are frequently among those who feel that their voices are invisible – veritably placed into the void. I wanted to show the importance of those voices in the arts, in particular in the male-dominated area of photography.
"All-female and over 50, these artists explore how we take up space in their unique way by reflecting on the past, facing the present and looking ahead to the future. This immense collection of female talent provides a powerful insight into a lesser-seen perspective, which we all hope will become the norm."
Sandra Jordan's series Hidden Beauty, for example, examines beauty and space through architecture, creating a visual expanse even in densely populated urban scenes. Her stark, unflinching façades set against grey expanses of sky create space for the buildings to breathe in their environment, reflecting her belief that we all need space to "just be".
Rosy Martin, meanwhile, considers how she occupies her own physical space in her London flat. Her 'nest' filled with items collected since 1981, some of which she kept from her parents' house as they hold so much emotional significance.
Danielle Peck's Dreamland series is shot in Margate, the British seaside resort that has seen highs and lows over the years. Her photographs cover themes of regeneration and nostalgia and go behind the seafront to explore the private and public lives of both residents and tourists.
Known as the Shoebox Gallerist, Kim Shaw creates her own shoe-box size residence as an alternative to the places to which she has been denied entry in the past. For Occupy the Void, she presents prints and sculptural representations of various art venues, hanging both in large scale on the exhibition walls and in her own portable handmade spaces, which will also feature the works of fellow artist, Wendy Aldiss.
Elsewhere, Samantha Brown's Botany of Silence combines her original documentary photographs of a demolished shoe factory with other source materials from social media, advertisements and archival images, to join together the past, present and future with notions of physical and narrative space. The photographs and 3D collages hanging from the ceiling share stories told through the eyes of a woman, with men omitted from the images to reveal old ruins of the factory. They look at how the memories of these working women reside and still linger long after the doors closed on the factory.
Occupy the Void is the latest edition of Photo50, an annual guest-curated exhibition will run during London Art Fair from 22-26 January 2020. Discover more at www.londonartfair.co.uk.
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