Entre Guillemets // Quote Unquote.

On December 4th-5th 2018, artist Joseph Edwardes Evans presented a new series of small sculptures in an exhibition entitled Entre Guillemets // Quote Unquote.

The works, made entirely of found objects and ‘scrap’ or ‘waste’ materials, emerged in response to the conversations Joseph and I had about post-traumatic landscapes.

Joseph writes:

Made of found metal and severed branches, the sculptures’ construction and display is tightly post-traumatic: they perform as citations by re-appropriating and putting forward material extracted from elsewhere, as if plucked from the receding past at the moment of being consigned to it. This extracted material is made to enter (the “entre” of “entre guillemets”) the present as a vase-type object, testifying to, presenting, or pointing towards histories of use and waste. But at the moment of enunciation, the vases are suggestively illegible as to what their specific material past is. Haphazard, contingent and diverse, they are an uncertain record. […] Whilst the vases represent citational space, an ambiguous plane, they can only bring the idea of the past to us. What we do with it then – what we put there – remains to be decided.

During the course of the two days, visitors were invited to create works around, and in response to, the sculptures. We provided watercolours, typewriters, marker pens, ink, glue and pencils on a large table in the rather chilly foyer of Jessop West.  What emerged was a collaborative scrapbook and an agreement that mental health and wellbeing might be significantly improved if we were able, in our cities and public spaces, to create similar spaces of conversation and creativity. 

What were the key insights of the two days? 1) Coffee has become a tax on interactions; 2) we need spaces to make a mess, be directionless, take a risk and not fear being unproductive;  3) art makes space – it isn’t a thing we add to space. This table, then. as ‘ritournelle’ – a space that emerges through the scratching of pencils and the putting of paint on paper; through conversations and encounters, and a shared desire to do this again.

With thanks to Joe, Lucy, Seth, AJ, Emma, Jordan, Neve and Rebekah for all their hard work, creativity and insight.

Post-traumatic vases

Joseph Edwardes-Evans has made a series of extraordinary, tiny vases which respond to the matter of post-traumatic landscapes.  Each of them is made with found materials typically discarded as waste or scrap. Twisted fragments of metal are mounted on slices of carefully sanded wood from plants such as buddleia, which are considered by many as  weeds. The material remains of our past, neither forgotten nor remembered, re-emerge and are re-formed in the present.

What is a post-traumatic art? The telling of an anteriority, which is to the past what the memory is to reality, taking form and placing its truth in the present. The post-traumatic vase is the oblique arrival, and presentation, of this anteriority where it meets the present, in the way that a vase puts forward as spectacle something past, dead or dying, and hovers it between our world, where it can be contemplated, and the non-world, to which it belongs.

Listen to Emma Bolland’s intervention at Post-Traumatic Landscapes

An audio recording of Emma Bolland’s intervention at the recent occursus symposium on post-traumatic landscapes is now available to listen to here.

Emma Bolland’s EVERY PLACE A PALIMPSEST (Part Two) focuses on Prince Phillip Playing Fields (municipal playing fields located on the borders of the Scott Hall and Chapeltown areas of Leeds) and incorporates texts by John Newling, Gordon Burn and David Peace.

Presented at CADS, Sheffield, Wednesday 22 May 2013. Recorded by Brian Lewis.

Programme for Post-Traumatic Landscapes Symposium, May 22nd

  • 10am – Open & coffee
  • Post-traumatic landscapes? Amanda Crawley Jackson
  • 10.20am – Neepsend to Parson Cross. Paul Allender and Eddy Dreadnought
  • 10.40am – The Meridian. Brian Lewis
  • 11am – America Deserta Revisited. Tom Keeley.
  • 11.20am – Discussion
  • 11.40am – Regeneration as Trauma. Julia Dobson
  • 12pm – Cyprien Gaillard’s work in Glasgow. Suzanne Robinson
  • 12.20pm – Discussion
  • 12.30 – Entropy at Charnwood Quarry. A film by Martin Blundell and Mark Goodwin
  • 12.45 – Discussion

1pm –  Free Lunch

Choose from a selection of:
A Selection of Freshly Baked Soft and Seeded Rolls

Authentic Mixed Samosa Selection V
Chicken Yakitori Skewer H
Yorkshire Crisps
Creamy Lancashire and Roast Vegetable Quiche V
Mini Peppered Steak Pie
Selection of Yorkshire Cocktail Sausages with Barbecue Dip
Selected Fresh Fruits
Mini Cake Bites
A selection of mini cakes including chocolate brownies, flapjacks, tiffin and
lemon drizzle cake.

  • 1.45pm – The Baroque Melancholy of Hashima. Mark Pendleton
  • 2.30pm – a slip of the land / a slip of the language. Paul Evans
  • 2.50pm – Discussion and coffee/tea & biscuits
  • 3.10pm – The Ghosts of Furnace Park. Luke Bennett
  • 3.30pm – Every Place a Palimpsest, Part 2. Emma Bolland
  • 3.50pm – Closing discussion
  • 4.30pm – Close

The symposium takes place at CADS, 5-7 Smithfield, Sheffield, S3 7AR.

Exhibition of works by MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall at Post-Traumatic Landscapes symposium

PALIMPSEST presents work by ‘MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall’ a collaboration between Emma Bolland, Thomas Rodgers and Judit Bodor. Using texts from 1980, a novel by David Peace which re-imagines the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper as a starting points, they are making visits to key sites referenced in the book, enacting research as ‘performance for camera’, walking and talking, collecting a forensic flora of ‘edgeland’ botanical specimens, and mediating their experiences through the lens of Peace’s texts. The outcomes of this project are open-ended, and include drawings, photographs, sound works, film, performance, and texts. In addition to an ongoing series of exhibitions, the project has been presented at Redrawing The Maps, a week of events contextualised by the John Berger ‘Art and Property Now exhibition at Somerset House, London. Emma Bolland will be presenting ”What Is A Book If It Will Not Be A Book’, referencing the creation of a creative codex for the project at Impact8, an international conference of print at The University of Dundee.

The research blog for the project can be found at: http://youwillhearmecall.wordpress.com/

Emma Bolland paper at Post-Traumatic Landscapes symposium

EVERY PLACE A PALIMPSEST  Part Two

Emma Bolland

The paper will focus on Prince Phillip Playing Fields; municipal playing fields located on the borders of the Scott Hall and Chapeltown areas of Leeds.  This was the site of the murder, and subsequent discovery of the body of Wilma McCann: a victim of Peter Sutcliffe, the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ The paper will examine the anonymity of the site, and the exploration of the idea of the ‘non-space’ as an attempted erasure of traumatic histories; referencing the writings of Gordon Burn and John Newling and their examination of Gloucester City Council’s demolition of 25 Cromwell Street; the home of Fred and Rosemary West. The author’s history and ‘pre-history’ of a continuing personal and creative relationship with the site will locate the experience of site as mediated through the lenses, mythologies and narratives of contested memories, media representations, and pre-existing themes of landscape and trauma as central to her practice. The conclusion will examine the site’s position in relation to the author’s on going collaborative project  ‘MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall’, (the project blog can be found at http://youwillhearmecall.wordpress.com/ ). The paper will be contextualised by an exhibition of visual work from the project.

BIOGRAPHY

 Emma Bolland is an artist and writer. She resumed her visual and written practice in 2004, after several years as a professional musician, focussing on narratives of danger and sexual risk filtered through the site, landscape, and contemporary and folk myth, using media including drawing, installation, film, text, performance and sound.

To reserve a free place at the symposium, please visit our eventbrite page.

The Baroque Melancholy of Hashima: Post-traumatic landscapes symposium

The Baroque Melancholy of Hashima

This presentation is a joint iteration of our performance project Hashima, begun in 2012, and continuing with AHRC ‘Care for Future’ funding. Combining the work of a performance theorist, geographer, geologist, environmentalist, historian of Japanese culture, and visual artist, the project is based on a series of field trips to Hashima, Japan, a former site of intensive offshore coal-mining and once the most densely populated spot on earth.  It is perhaps best known in the popular imagination as the base of the mysterious, oedipal villain in the recent Bond movie Skyfall. Our field trips allow us to gather materials to be reworked into a number of creative outputs, including postcards, improvisational scores, site-specific performances, soundscape, and installations. Underpinning the project is a collective concern with the future of ruins in a traumatised landscape. More specifically, we want to rethink the meaning of ecological horizons through a non-sentimental encounter with a human and non-human past, present and future. While we do not ignore the specificity of Hashima, we want to draw out its allegorical value as a site of monstrous transformation and futural possibility.

Presenter Biographies:

Professor Deborah Dixon works at the boundary of the arts and sciences, including looking at “monstrous” geography and BioArt, where artists take living tissue as their artistic medium. She teaches in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Carina Fearnley is a Lecturer in Environmental Hazards at Aberystwyth University and a specialist in Disaster Risk Reduction. She focuses on the role of understanding and communicating uncertainty, risk, and complexity to develop resilience to natural and environmental hazards.

Lee Hassall is a performance artist, course leader in Fine Arts at the University of Worcester and a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University. His research proposes reclaiming a sense of the visual within the study of landscape and explores and contextualises articulation of the visual in relation to the performative.

Professor Carl Lavery teaches theatre and performance at Aberystwyth University. He has authored several books on space and performance, and is currently involved in a number of AHRC funded projects exploring the relationship between community, ecology and environment.

Dr Mark Pendleton is Lecturer of Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield. A social and cultural historian, he is interested in how people relate to the past through memory texts, sites and practices. He is currently working on a large-scale research project on modern and industrial ruins in Japan.

To reserve a free place at the symposium (which will take place on May 22nd, 10am-4pm), please visit our eventbrite page.