Platform 2019

09 – 31 August
Launch event: Thursday 08 August, 6 – 8pm

Free & open to all


Advertising images of women’s bodies that construct and repeat (ad infinitum) a connection between physical perfection and commodification drives the work of Alison J Carr. 

Carr contrasts these with work created to reframe the female body as imperfect, yet glamorous, and located in contexts of radical thought and disruptive intentions, where excess is not only about consumption, but mostly about pleasure. Carr takes entertainment seriously and asks if it can be tooled to rupture our cultural conditioning towards neoliberal individuality. The work proposes that political agency can be joyful and expansive.

Ascending a Staircase, is a photographic series of theatre interiors in venues across the North of England. The images aim to probe the historical contexts of performance and to ask questions of the format itself: what did access to a career onstage mean? What kind of visibility did the theatrical stage offer? What were the limitations?  

Using the staircases up to or from the stage as a device that opens up these questions, the compositions locate these stairs within the wider framework of theatrical architectural. By using the visual clues of the architecture, women are invited in to the theatre to be looked at—but this offer is limited, the theatre is not a neutral space for the presentation of self. The photographs present the gilding, ornate decoration, plush velvets, as well as the didactic signs, for example ‘No Smoking’, which all condition our viewing—much like the regimes we encounter beyond the theatre that similarly shape our vision.

A series of performative actions will take place during the exhibition, activating the spot lit set up situated in the gallery.

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Platform 2019 highlights the work of the first five artists on the Freelands Artists Programme – a rolling five-year initiative supporting two-year paid residencies for emerging artists in the Sheffield City Region.

Also exhibiting as part of Platform 2019 are Lucy Vann, Siân Williams and Zoyander Street at Site Gallery and Yuen Fong Ling at Yorkshire Artspace, Persistence Works.

For more information about the Freelands Artist Programme visit the Site Gallery website.

Images by Jules Lister and Mark Howe