'Bear Pitt' Embroidered handkerchief. ©Susan Stockwell 2015. ©photo Jeff Leyshon
An audio recording of the talk is available at the bottom of this page.
Framed against Lewis Hyde’s linking of creativity to ‘gift’, and questioning the place of creativity in contemporary culture and today’s economic market, Christine and Susan will explore the materiality and haptic quality present in Susan’s use of every-day ‘stuff’ – cloth, bank notes, coffee, maps – to make work.
Is creative practice as much about selflessness as self-expression?
What do we mean by the ‘creative spirit’?
To what extent does the work make itself? And, as the process of making evolves, does the work make us as much as we make it?
The essence of Susan’s work lies in transformation of materials and perceptions. Familiar objects take on a new life as deeper meanings emerge. Operating within the ‘in-between space’ at the border of craft and visual art, Susan elegantly challenges us to face the lingering aftermath of colonization, global consumption, and waste, the inequalities and injustices founded on negative readings of difference and our collective consciousness or indeed lack of consciousness.
Susan Stockwell has a highly regarded reputation for making innovative art works. Her practice is concerned with ecology, politics, mapping, trade and global commerce. She uses materials from the everyday and the domestic, from manufacturing and industry, from toilet tissue on an industrial scale (Paper Installation, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, 1994) to recycled computer components (Flood, York, 2010) and paper currency from a variety of countries with exacting methodologies that include a high level of precision and detail. Susan is also interested in participatory art practice and has worked with a range of groups including inmates from Wandsworth Prison (Fine Cell Works). In 2013 she made Sail Away, an interactive installation in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern for the Hyperlink Festival curated by Tate Collective. In 2015 she was Artist in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon where she developed new work for exhibition in the RSC’s public and gallery spaces (April-September 2015). The work was made in response to the plays, Othello and The Merchant of Venice and to the carefully choreographed range of hidden activity, which occurs backstage and behind the live performance, from costume-making to rigging to rehearsal.
Dr Christine Shaw-Checinska Is a designer, writer and curator. Christine’s work is situated at the meeting point between material culture and contemporary art. She writes about the relationship between cloth, culture and race. The cultural exchanges that occur as a result of movement and migration, creating creolised cultural forms, are her recurring themes. The correlation between personal history and received history is an ongoing interest. She is currently an Associate Researcher at VIAD, University of Johannesburg and an Associate Lecturer in fashion at Goldsmiths,London. As a creative designer, Christine has created womenswear collections for a number of iconic British brands including Margaret Howell.Her natural design flair and creative energy has seen her anticipating new trends, styling press launches, fashion shows and shoots, alongside mentoring emerging fashion practitioners.