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Samantha Donnelly

Residency Artist 2010

Samantha Donnelly Samantha Donnelly Samantha Donnelly Samantha Donnelly Samantha Donnelly Samantha Donnelly Samantha Donnelly

Residency dates: 2010

Samantha had studio visits as part of the residency programme from:

Sacha Craddock- curator, writer and critic, Bloomberg space
Kirsty Ogg – curator Whitechapel Gallery
Cathy Lomax, director Transition gallery
Pieternel Veermortel – director FormContent
Sarah McCrory – curator Frieze Projects
Ingrid Swenson – Director PEER

Standpoint Futures Development Residency – Proposal

While at Standpoint I wish to develop a series of sculptural works based around one of Guy Bourdin’s ‘Beauty Photographs’ (1969) as a catalyst to develop a new series of sculptural cast works that intimate a dialogue between representations of femininity.

Bourdin’s image uses recognisable conventions from the genre but hints at a darker, anonymous, flesh-led introverted space; one of disembodiment, fleeting engagements, masochism and rupture. The undertones of ambiguity and the unseen are the starting point of my investigation: The hidden dynamic existing in the space between bodies, flattened; The appearance of the female back and shoulders cowed submissively in contrast tot he historically proud representations of the male torso. The objectification of the figures through the denial of their gaze, their fragmentation / disembodiment and limitation identifying details.

Aspects of the uncropped, unedited image cleverly caught on film by Bourdin which expose the omitted, invisible constructs and unglamorous paraphernalia form a playful yet disturbing catalyst for other works. The tan line of the model at the base of her back, possibly exposing a boundary limitation of the naked in relation to the nude; the crumpled, ugly pale blue medical tissue the model hygienically sits upon – abject – and out of kilter with the sexy veneer of consumer brochures; the grotty seams of the plasterboard wall dotted with holes and marks from previous shoots, covered over with a grey backdrop, a flash of anonymous knuckle controlling the soft-box tethered by a frayed rope and drawing pin to the apex of a pair of teak ladders in make-shift fashion.

These aspects of the image will be worked through in a variety of materials including casting from life to creating disembodied objects recounting the model, mixed with found objects and collaged images. This is a continuation of themes of my studio practice, however whilst at Standpoint my aim is to start to question he proximity and space between these object fictions to calibrate sensibilities of the actual, the recounted and the received.


Samantha's residency was generously supported by Arts Council England.