The EXPOSURE Project
About • Origins • Themes
EXPOSURE is a collaborative, immersive installation work. It has evolved from a series of residencies. The London based film maker and painter Andy Metcalf has made a series of visits, each in different season of the year, to the studio of Jura based multi-disciplinery artist Giles Perring. These extended sessions enabled the pair to create work alongside one and other that built on an evolving conversation. Alongside the outcome of these residencies, the project also comprises the contribution of singer and song maker Kirsty Law. This grew from her involvement in identifying both the title and themes for the project in the first residency in April 2019, and she has continued to develop a piece into a recording and video which forms part of the show. Meanwhile, in creating his music and sound for the project, Giles Perring has also brought in interpretations of his compositions by the singer Melanie Pappenheim.
2020 began with a well advanced plan to configure the Sound of Jura studio as gallery space. It’s the old school, a kilometre from the road across Moine na Ceàrdaich at Knockrome. The vision of EXPOSURE as an exhibition on Jura was shelved in light of the current COVID pandemic. As a consequence, the project has shifted online, and the work is planned to reveal gradually in a blog format. This site will be providing a virtual selection of work from EXPOSURE, as well as some writings, in anticipation of the project’s intended installation at galleries in Scotland in 2021.
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ORIGINS OF THE PROJECT
The origins of the collaboration lie back in 1985 when Giles worked with Andy on his documentary film ‘Welcome To The Spiv Economy’, which screened on UK’s Channel 4, and was then screened in 2018 at the London Barbican’s ‘The Televison Will Be Revolutionised’ season. Giles and his colleague Guy Evans, who were founders of the sonic sculpture project Echo City, which featured in the film, wrote and recorded the music for the film.
A critical, catalytic next step occurred when singer Kirsty Law joined Andy and Giles to be a part of a short residency on the Isle of Jura, in the Inner Hebrides, where Giles lives and runs his studio. The object was to discuss a collaborative project.
Reflecting on three days of walking, talking, photography and video making together, Andy says ‘It was Kirsty who started us all on the road with the idea of Exposure’. Giles adds that ‘Kirsty and Andy crystallised an idea. In terms of a collaboration we hoped to pull off, it opened up a vast area for discussion. ‘Exposure’ as a title, a maxim almost, provided a way of encapsulating themes for making work that responded to the environment of the island’
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“The project’s creative ideas come out of a matrix of concerns – summarised by the word ‘Exposure’. What we mean by this is exposure to the elements; exposure to the extreme ecology of the Isle of Jura; exposure to our selves as we start up this journey. In our vision there is little that is comfortable, warm and easy about this location, both inside ourselves and in the Isle.” Andy Metcalf
The theme deliberately conjures up ideas that refer to the self; vulnerability; wilderness; as well as the practical and physical processes in photography, painting and sound capture.
“Seeking out remoteness to ‘commune’ with an idealised Nature, to ‘unlock one’s creativity’, is a very well rehearsed, romantic proscription of places like Jura. It’s even written into the story of Orwell’s time here on his ‘un-get-at-able’ island, when he was writing ‘1984’. Meanwhile, for many people who come here, their journey is part of a fantasy that’s been fed by a persuasive aesthetic language. Those pictures, films, music and stories very actively shape how many of us think of these landscapes.” Giles Perring
It is also an individualistic narrative that overlooks and even rejects human sociality and the need to converse. In EXPOSURE, ways of working, familiar in film and music are brought into the fine art process.
“We choose to work closely, critique each other’s work and collaborate on videos. So, our collaborative ethic in EXPOSURE is deliberately contrasted with the well worn notion of seeking out remoteness to make art. We are driven by the idea that it is actually interaction with others that generates innovative dialogue“
EXPOSURE sets to one side many of the visual and artistic tropes that sustain a commodified and commercialised notion of a ‘wild island’. By choosing media like sound as a means of representing landscape and place, EXPOSURE is pushing to find different ways of looking at this environment.
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