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Hannah James

Residency Artist 2011

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Residency dates: 22 August – 24 September 2011

Hannah James began the residency with an interest in the documentation and archive of an object. Combined with this James was interested in exploring the potential for a variation of context to establish new meanings within her practice. This entailed taking work outside and into the public domain, which subsequently introduced an exploration of public sculpture. Finally, James was interested in exploring the archive as a process of self- appropriation, where the documentation of one installation referenced the physical presence and movement of the artist.

Choosing an enclosed public garden in Hackney, James constructed and then photographed Screen #5 in St Thomas’ Square. The experimental project allowed James the capacity to work on a new body of film and slide based works that stem from an interest in documenting her sculptures in new locations, particularly more domesticated sites. James moved 360 degrees around the object placed in the middle of the park, producing 36 images of the object from varying angles. These images were copied as slides, which moved round on the carousel when projected in the studio. Here the invisible self-documentation of the artist was mirrored by the movements of the slides themselves.

The slides generated an anarchic and nostalgic sentiment, thus delving into the sense of time found in most of James’ works. The object itself, when placed within public space as opposed to the conventional gallery environment, rendered obsolete in the images, and due to the flimsy structure and thin paper emplored to crete the screen like structure, was the very opposite of a public art work. Instead, the work seemed to intensify it elements of the environment and created a scene in each slide that drew out the surrounding (and originally mundane) architecture, whilst reflecting the light and movement of the context through its delicate structure and subtle movements.

During her residency the following people visited Hannah in the studio:

Lucy Reynolds, writer, artist and independent curator
Lisa Panting, Co-Director at Hollybush Gardens
Naomi Siderfin, Director, Beaconsfield
Isobel Harbison, independent writer, curator and critic
Joe Scotland, Director, Studio Voltaire


Paul Pieroni, Curator, SPAC
Pieternel Vermootel

Off-site visits:

Rosa Tyhurst, Assistant Director, Limoncello
Elisa Kay, Curator, Flat-Time House