Research fellows 2023
Each year our fellowship programme enables artists and researchers to develop their work.
In 2023 our visiting fellows include Panteha Abareshi, Murray Anderson, Olivia Bax, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Zoe Partington, Chiara Pazzaglia, Giovanni Rendina and Joseph Strang.
Artist Research Fellowship
The Disabled Sculptural Corporeality
Abareshi will conduct research into the notion of disabled sculptural corporeality. This research will begin with an exploration of the disabled body in antiquity, specifically within Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the artistic works of the Roman Empire. They will use the sculpture collection of the Henry Moore Foundation to drive forward a critical decontextualization of the sculptural body as fundamentally disabled. Through casting a lens of disability onto these works, They will produce theoretical articulations on disability representation, and the ways in which our contemporary notions of the disabled body are shaped unknowingly by the bodies we have long gazed upon in the sculptural form.
Abareshi will focus on the representation of incomplete corporeality within the Leeds Museums and Galleries’ sculpture collection. Through a cataloguing and detailed examination of these incomplete corporealities, they will articulate new written work connecting the sculptural body to disability representation. There are parallels between incomplete sculptural corporeality and the disabled body as it exists with its piecemeal anatomy, medical augmentations, amputations, and mobilities.
Panteha Abareshi is an artist currently based in California. Their practice is rooted within their existence within a chronically ill and disabled body. Notions of illness, languages of pain, mortality and contemplations of the organic as defunct pulse through their work as they deconstruct definitions of the ‘body’ and all of its corporeal connotations through performative, sculptural and installation-based work.
Artist Research Fellowship
The relief occupies a queer categoric and hierarchal ambiguity, considered in-between (more/less, plus/minus) in relation to two-dimensional painting and three- dimensional sculpture in the round. Frequently historically cast in relation to antiquity, medieval art, and the Renaissance, the relief however continues as an on-going concern. In Anderson’s own practice he has become increasingly preoccupied with making relief and a survey of contemporary art during this century shows a raft of upcoming and established artists similarly making relief as part of their practice.
The title of this fellowship ‘Backward Desire’ is a play of the term ‘relief’ (re + lief) and aims to articulate a more suggestive, sensual reading to the contemporary sculptural relief, reanimating relational discussions derived from late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century, object-oriented empathy studies as a basis to expand upon the embodied engagement with relief. In particular, Anderson wishes to concentrate upon the sensory shift from physical to intellectual sight engendered by the relief and its unseen side – the anticipatory sensed volume and imaginative reach around behind the relief to mentally hold the image.
Murray Anderson is an artist who lives and works in London. He received a practice-based PhD from Middlesex University and studied MA Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts.
Artist / University of Gloucestershire
Artist Research Fellowship
These Mad Hybrids
Olivia Bax will be researching how contemporary sculpture addresses hybridity; considering the mix or clash of materials, disciplines, ideas and classifications. The forefront of the research is to consider the creaturely, the bodily and the sculptural employment of colour.
This project has been inspired by a number of unknown ceramic sculptures made in 1994 by the late British abstract painter, John Hoyland (1934-2011). Hoyland wrote how making three-dimensional forms was “harder than it looked”; he enjoyed the freedom of “trying anything, the unexpected results with colour, and also to indulge in the possibility of introducing irony and even humour to these mad little hybrids.” (Hoyland, 1994).
There will be an exhibition titled These Mad Hybrids, which will open at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in Bristol in February 2024 and tour to Sheffield Museums in 2025. In addition to the work of John Hoyland, the exhibition will include sculpture by the following artists: Caroline Achaintre, Eric Bainbridge, Phyllida Barlow, Olivia Bax, Hew Locke, Anna Reading, Jessi Reaves, Andrew Sabin, John Summers and Chiffon Thomas. Bax’s research will inform an essay titled Hybridity in Contemporary Sculpture for the exhibition catalogue which will be published by Ridinghouse.
Olivia Bax was born in Singapore, Malaysia and now lives and works in London. She graduated from Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2016.
Exhibitions include: Monkey Cups, Southbank Centre (2023); Home Range, Holtermann Fine Art, London (2022); Spill, L21, Mallorca (2022); Double Knowledge, Alice Black Gallery, London (2023); Material Impressions: Artists & Paper, Larsen Warner, Stockholm (2022-23); Reflections: Part 3: Sculpture by Women Artists, Workplace, London (2022) and Chute, Ribot Gallery, Milan (2019/20).
Awards include: The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award (2019/20); Kenneth Armitage Young Sculptor Prize (2016), Additional Award, Exeter Contemporary Open, Exeter Phoenix (2017) and Public Choice Winner, Saatchi Gallery, London (2015).
Junior Research Fellow in African and Comparative Literature, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford
The Stone Philosophers
The Stone Philosophers is a book that contests how the ‘archive’ on Zimbabwean art history has been constructed and curated. How do we honour our artists, dead and living? How do we remember them, and their stories? How do we celebrate our artists?
The network of artists who made stone sculpture famous grew organically, from village to village, through informal collaborations, which were eventually co-opted into the white art world of Rhodesia through the National Gallery, and subsequently exported to Europe and North America. This book is an ensemble of their stories and artistry. It will be a unique catalogue with a descriptive timeline situating the movement vis-à-vis relevant artworks and films, exhibitions, cultural criticism, and political events.
The book is an attempt to document a dynamic living archive of conversations, texts, and images. This is a character-driven book, which tells the story of a network of dynamic sculptors who were instrumental in the stone sculpture movement in Zimbabwe. The book tells the life stories of these artists alongside their developing ideas all within a changing social and political context. For decades, their views have been overlooked and their contributions told in stock stereotypes.
Tinashe Mushakavanhu obtained a first class BA degree in English from Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) before embarking on an MA in Creative Writing at Trinity College, Carmarthen (Wales) and later on received a PhD in English from University of Kent (England). He has held fellowships at University of Edinburgh (Scotland); Rhodes University and University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) as well as City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism (USA).
The central theme of Mushakavanhu’s research is the role of literary culture in documentation, historical knowledge, and political power. He has particular interests in the aesthetics and materiality of writing; archives, and archival theory; translation; African and diaspora literatures, digital humanities, romanticism, creative writing, media studies, and comparative literatures. The work manifests in interdisciplinary modalities. It blurs creative and critical methods, and writing genres, in order to imaginatively reconfigure the strictures that conventionally separate the poetic and the theoretical.
Disabled artist, curator and disability activist and Co/Director of Disordinary Architecture
Artist Research Fellowship
A major focus of Partington’s art and research will reflect the way in which disabled artists have been marginalised both historically and in contemporary times. She will explore how society’s limited understanding of disability as an ‘abnormal’ or ‘tragic’ condition has frequently denied disabled people opportunities to contribute meaningfully to artistic or cultural work.
Partington’s research at the Henry Moore Institute will also examine the experiences of artists with disabilities as they navigate the challenges and physical constraints affecting their work processes, in the belief that this type of research could contribute to the broader academic conversation about how we approach art-making and how the creative process can be challenged by disability. Partington is interested in the imaginative strategies that female artists with disabilities have devised to subvert or transcend the cultural norms and constraints of their times.
Zoe Partington is a contemporary visual artist who uses her installations to develop viscerally powerful audio-visual and tactile representations of Disabled people’s journeys and experiences through spaces. Partington predominantly works as a Creative Consultant and International Advisor for the cultural sector. As a researcher, auditor and creative equality trainer, she empowers museums and galleries with the knowledge to develop their skills and experiences for meeting the needs of Disabled visitors. She is passionate about Inclusion – changing the perspectives and stereotypes which modern society often holds about Disabled people.
Redefining a European Identity. A Transnational Approach to Public Monuments after 1945
In contrast to the academic literature on public monuments, which tends to focus primarily on national case studies, this research project examines a selection of post-war public monuments in Europe from a transnational perspective. It investigates the redefinition of national sculptural languages following the collapse of regimes in many countries, as well as the international artistic network at a time when a new idea of Europe was taking shape.
While situating each monument in the social context in which it was produced, the project pays particular attention to international monumental sculpture competitions as a means of de-provincialization. A useful starting point to approach the issue is to consider the key role played by Henry Moore as the chairman of such significant competitions as the 1953 competition for a Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner and the 1957 competition for the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp memorial. By utilizing resources from the Institute’s library and documents from the Archive of Sculptors’ Papers, the project aims to provide fresh insights into the topic of European public monuments in the post-war era.
Chiara Pazzaglia graduated in Art History (BA 2019, MA 2021) at the University of Pisa. She was an undergraduate student at the Scuola Normale Superiore (2016-2021), where she is currently completing her PhD in Art History in co-tutorship with the Université Paris Nanterre (supervisors Prof. F. Fergonzi and T. Dufrêne).
Her doctoral research deals with the renewal of the public monument in Europe after the Second World War, from a transnational perspective. Using a historical-documentary approach, the study investigates a corpus of monuments, situating them in the history of sculptural styles, but also reconstructing their modes of production, their positioning in urban planning and the social dynamics in which they are embedded. Her research interests mainly concern public art and the history of Italian and international sculpture between the 19th and 20th century.
Sculpture and the Politics of Subjectivation
The main problematic issues that Giovanni Rendina’s study aims to tackle during his period of research at the Henry Moore Institute, are linked to the concept of representation – both in an artistic and political sense – and, in particular, to the process of delegation when art is used to represent a specific individual, category, identity, or community.
His research develops from the assumption that artistic practice can be understood as a form of political subjectivation and objectification. This premise provides the basis for an analysis aimed at understanding whether art can be read as a practice of resistance towards the constellation of power relations faced by artists and the audience. With the term “object” – used in this study in its political sense – he means an element that is acted upon by discursive and power practices, which is therefore defined and, so to speak, ventriloquized and managed by other individuals who instead become political subjects. Conversely, by “subject,” he means the individual – or the collective – who acts in determining the self and objects through a power relationship. Rendina’s proposal for the Henry Moore Institute tries to gather a set of strategies, both conceptual and operational, thus framing sculpture and the art practice more generally as a technique aimed at constructing political objects or subjects.
Dr. Giovanni Rendina is a curator and a researcher. He has curated exhibitions for Palermo Capitale della Cultura, Art City Bologna, Live Arts Week Bologna, Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio, and CCA Andratx. He has recently worked as a researcher at Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin.
Artist Research Fellowship
Fictioning a Sculptural Historiography
Joseph Strang’s research process, provisionally titled ‘Fictioning a Sculptural Historiography’, will focus on the monument as a site for a fictioned investigation into the relationship between sculpture and memory, and seeks to excavate a haunted blueprint of the formal trends and archetypes typically utilised by sculptors and councils when attempting to intrench and memorialise the past.
Strang’s research will be communicated through the letters, journal, essays and sketches of a fictional archaeologist in what will be continuation of a body of work that has similarly explored the institutional and colonial ghosts embedded in Glasgow’s architecture.
“Central to my practice is a desire to fuse fiction writing and research, with a particular interest in the ways that different info-structural modes of literature and research can be mimicked, or haunted, in order to access and communicate the invisible histories of a particular location, institution, or individual.
“Quarrying into the monumental memory of both the city of Leeds and the Institute’s Archive, I intend to continue an ongoing interest in utilising fiction as a way not only to blur literary genres and methodologies, but also to access and exhume local and societal ghosts. Documentary, archival, conceptual, and performative modes of research will intersect in an attempt to find a way of writing about memory that doesn’t undermine its precarious nature, but instead enables a reflection on the structural, sculptural, and bureaucratic processes that encourage us to remember or forget.”
Joseph Strang is an artist and researcher living and working in Glasgow, Scotland. He is interested in the sculptural potential of words.