bloc projects


Dawn Woolley – Short Lived Pleasure

  • Dawn Woolley

Saturday 09 June 2012

Dawn Woolley will be presenting a Solo Exhibition of new works.

Short Lived Pleasure forms an enquiry into the relationship between the female body and ideas of visual pleasure. In the exhibition Woolley uses photography, performance and installation to reconceptualise ideas about desire and pleasure through photographic and still-life objects. In the work she attempts to question common notions of objectification using illusion and substitution.??During the exhibition opening Woolley will perform Cut to the Measure of Desire, the latest instalment of a series of performance installations that respond to feminism and spectatorship theories; the panopticon overseer and the resulting state of perpetual exhibitionism. The performance will take place within a large scale photographic installation. Reminiscent of the traditions of still-life painting and the tableau-vivant, the artist will pose within the scene – an imperfect being concealed within a 2-dimensional idealised world. The aim to uphold the illusion of perfection will prove to be futile and the codes of desire crumble under the weight of the spectators gaze.

This exhibition will bring together work from The Substitute and Interloper series with new still-life photographs that reflect Woolley’s current research into the relationship between food and sex in seventeenth century Dutch genre paintings. In the work she employs the use of objects as symbols of the female body and sexuality. Like the use of symbols in Dutch painting, the sexual content of the images is held below the surface, ready to entertain a knowing audience. The varieties of symbols that ascribe food objects with sexual connotations seem to suggest that both carnal pleasures can be simultaneously satiated by the female subject of the scene.

Dawn Woolley trained as a fine art printmaker. She has since developed a photography-based practice that encompasses digital video, installation and performance as well as photo-based installations. In 2008 she completed an MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art.

Recent exhibitions have included; “Portmanteau” Halle 14, Leipzig (curated by G39 Cardiff), “My World: Visions of 21st Century Feminism” in the European Women’s Lobby, Brussels (2010), “Fotomonth” in Krakow, Poland (2007) and solo exhibitions in Ffotogallery in Cardiff (2011), South Square Gallery, Bradford (2009), and The Lighthouse Art Centre in Wolverhampton (2006). Her artwork is held in a number of collections including; the Museum of Photographic Arts in Kiyosato, Japan and in The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

Woolley was born on 10th March 1980 at RAF Wegburg in Germany, she currently lives and works in Cardiff, UK. She is currently undertaking PhD research at the Royal College of Art.