Research fellows 2017
Each year our fellowship programme enables artists and researchers to develop their work.
In 2017 our visiting fellows included Charlotte Drew, Elisa Foster, Dawn Pereira, Tyler Coburn, Anna Dezeuze, Joo Yeon Park and Amy Tobin.
University of Bristol
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
Invention and Industry: The Victorian Renaissance of Ceramic Sculpture
Ceramic sculpture of Victorian Britain subverts traditional views of nineteenth-century sculpture through its material, subject matter, decorative application, polychromy and industrial methods of manufacture. It also furthers our understanding of the Victorian reception of the Italian Renaissance period from a sculptural perspective: from life-size Minton majolica elephants to the architectural relief work of Conrad Dressler, the ceramic revival of the Victorian period is undoubtedly rooted in Quattrocento precedents.
Dr Charlotte Drew’s book project is helping to rewrite this key period in the history of sculpture, exploring nineteenth-century British sculpture and sculpture criticism from the perspective of ceramics. Her research considers the critical, artistic and industrial responses to Quattrocento ceramic sculpture in Victorian Britain, including texts by Ruskin, Pater and Symonds and artistic collaborations between Minton, Doulton and sculptors of the period. She also highlights the importance of the Italian Sculpture collection at the South Kensington Museum, a predominantly terracotta vision of sculpture, as a visual catalyst for key Victorian texts that formed the foundation for the modern study of the Italian Renaissance period.
Henry Moore Institute
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
Painted Black: Inventing the Black Madonna in Pre-Modern Europe
Elisa Foster is currently researching a publication on the ‘Black Madonna’ in European art from c. 1200-1700 – the term referring to the depiction of the Virgin Mary with dark-coloured skin. Provisionally titled Painted Black: Inventing the Black Madonna in Pre-Modern Europe, her book will be an important contribution to scholarship on both Black Madonnas and questions of pre-modern race and colour.
This book sets out to consider the medieval and early modern contexts of Black Madonna statues through careful examination of the changing functions and visual representations of key examples in Western Europe. Her project considers the multiple interpretations of blackness that co-existed in pre-modern Europe and the responses from various audiences, including clergy, pilgrims and iconoclasts. Many of these sculptures are re-painted or are no longer extant, and Dr Foster’s research provides a methodology for art historians to explore the ephemeral aspects of visual culture linked to these sculptures.
Dr Foster’s research on this subject has been published in Studies in Iconography 37 (2016) and Envisioning Others: Race, Color and the Visual in Iberia and Latin America, ed. Pamela A. Patton, Brill (2015). She is currently co-editing a collection of essays titled Medieval Devotion in Britain and Its Afterlives, forthcoming in 2017. Her research in Yorkshire expands her interest in destroyed objects and iconoclasm, focusing specifically on the shrine of Corpus Christi in York.
University of East London
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
William Mitchell’s Life as a Post-War British Artist
Dr Dawn Pereira is an artist, writer and teacher, initially trained at Goldsmiths College, London, as a ceramicist and then working for many years in education and community contexts, particularly with ceramics, mosaic and concrete.
Pereira discovered the innovative work of architectural sculptor William Mitchell (b.1925) whilst researching her MA Art in Architecture dissertation, undertaken at the University of East London in 1998. This interest led to her PhD thesis ‘Art for the Common Man: The Role of the Artist within the London County Council (1957-65)’ awarded in 2009.
Pereira’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship award will support her production of a publication evaluating Mitchell’s life as a post-war British artist. Although renowned for his work in concrete, Mitchell also created sculptures, murals, free-standing walls and fountains in combinations of fibreglass, metal, ceramics, glass and wood.
The publication will explore Mitchell’s development of themes and use of experimental materials; his influence on the design, techniques and technologies of the post-war built environment; and the nature of his extensive collaboration with architects and industry. This research will bring together new perspectives regarding Mitchell’s ‘classless’ form of public art; examining its physical, aesthetic and cultural relevancy to the re-development of Britain after the Second World War and to the lives of its people, with the evolution of a more immersive sculptural experience for the viewer.
Artist and writer, New York
Garth Evans’ involvement with the British Steel Corporation 1969-71
Evans’ fellowship, and the larger operations of the Artist Placement Group, are highly relevant to Coburn’s artistic practice, which considers transformations in industrial and digital labour – particularly with the rise of automation – and their effects on the human worker.
Tyler Coburn is an artist and writer based in New York. His work critically engages trends in computing and manufacturing, investigating tensions between waged and leisure time; the self and the social media public; and the virtual world and its complex material infrastructures.
Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design Marseille-Méditerranée
On sculpture’s deadpan inertia
Anna Dezeuze’s research project focused on the subversive potential of sculpture’s inertness. Consulting a wide range of books, catalogues, articles and conference recordings in the library, Anna sketched a preliminary map of some key relations between sculpture, performance, dance, photography and film in contemporary practices since the 1960s. From this there emerged a variety of useful references including the tableau vivant, the myth of Pygmalion & Galatea, object-oriented philosophy and reflections on endurance in performance art.
Anna’s research into 1960s practices took in work by Keith Arnatt, Bruce McLean, Gilbert & George in the United Kingdom; Vito Acconci, Eleonor Antin, Scott Burton, Barry Le Va, Dennis Oppenheim and Charles Ray in the United States; as well as Franz Erhard Walther in Germany. She also expanded her research into more contemporary practices by Mel Brimfield, Mark Leckey, Franz West and Erwin Wurm. She engaged at first hand with works by Arnatt and Brimfield in the Leeds Sculpture Collection, and spent time comparing Bruce McLean’s Half Hour Stand and Walkabout Piece, Barnes, also held in this collection, with the artist’s ‘Documentation boards’ kept in the Henry Moore Institute Archives.
Anna Dezeuze is Lecturer in Art History at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design Marseille-Méditerranée. She is the editor of The ‘Do-it-yourself’ Artwork: Participation from Fluxus to New Media (Manchester University Press, 2010) and co-editor, with Julia Kelly, of Found Sculpture and Photography from Surrealism to Contemporary Art (Ashgate, 2013). Her other publications include a study of Thomas Hirschhorn’s Deleuze Monument (Afterall, 2014) and Almost Nothing: Observations on Precarious Practices in Contemporary Art (MUP, 2017).
Joo Yeon Park
Forms by, and Words exchanged, between Vézelay and Arp
Alluding to Echo’s repetition of Narcissus’s last words in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Joo Yeon Park’s artistic and philosophical questions, often manifested as writings and sculptural installations integrating mirrors, lights and shadows, consider the poetical and political aspects of the self and ‘otherness’ in languages.
During her fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute, Joo Yeon researched sculptors who wrote in a language of others in pre-war Paris. In particular, she focused on abstract sculptures and letters exchanged between the Bristol-born painter and sculptor Paule Vézelay (Marjorie Agnes Watson-Williams) and the Alsatian sculptor and poet Hans (Jean) Arp. The research on complex literary self-translatability in Vézelay’s and Arp’s writings in relation to their sculptural forms introduces further issues of the dialogic relationship of two voices, languages, genders, and nationalities.
University of Cambridge
Sculpture and Autobiography in the work of Helen Chadwick and Rose Garrard
Amy Tobin’s research at the Henry Moore Institute is focused on the archive collection of Helen Chadwick, but is part of a longer project on sculpture by women artists in the 1980s. Rather than insist on connections, she is considering the very different directions these artists take – from Chadwick’s exploration of subjectivity, to Rose Garrard’s interest in personal history and mythology, and Alison Wilding’s abstraction.
Her project situates the 1980s work of each artist in the social context in which they were practicing, thinking particularly about the impact of feminism, and women’s liberation politics, as well as post-colonialism, punk and neo-conservatism on the conditions of their practice, and their approaches or conceptual context. Amy is interested in how the social and political context of the 1980s is manifested in sculptural practices; particularly how artists create, take-up, imagine and delineate space or particular spaces and indeed the importance of memory and history, which animates the work of Chadwick, Garrard and Veronica Ryan especially.
Dr Amy Tobin is Lecturer in the Department of the History of Art, University of Cambridge and from January 2018 will also be a curator at Kettle’s Yard. She completed her PhD in the History of Art at the University of York in 2017 with a thesis looking at art and women’s liberation in Britain and North America in the 1970s.