British curator Bryony Stone’s brand new exhibition all in: bodied is a love letter to the female-identifying body in motion. Stone set up her platform ‘all in:’ in 2017, and has already curated two successful exhibitions on mental health and around the notion of progress. However, after her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, resulting in a mastectomy, Stone was left thinking about people's relationships with their bodies, most notably women's. “The operation limited her ability to move her body in the way that she was used to, and she had to learn how to move through the world with a new kind of body,” Stone says.
Inspired by people’s perceptions of the bodies they exist in, Stone is working with four female artists, designer Sinéad O’Dwyer, artist Zoe Marden, choreographer Grace Nicol and dance artist Becky Namgauds, to create an immersive exhibition – all in: bodied which is made up of a film and two live performances, one by Marden and a second choreographed by Nicol and Namgauds in which they respond to custom-made wearable sculptures designed by RCA MA fashion graduate Sinéad O’Dwyer, which will also be on show in the exhibition. “I've made garments for Becky and Zoe to wear while performing and so in developing them I've been reflecting on the relationship between the still body that I capture during lifecasting and the body in motion,” Sinéad says.
“Slip Mould Slippery explores the violence of the troubling object/body distinction,” says Nicol. “The live work will consider how the specificity of Becky Namgaud’s female body, layered with the lifecast shape of Sinead’s muse’s body, can stand in for all female bodies and find power within the collective notion of self – body, object and experience.”
The exhibition will also feature a film by Zoe Marden that explores the dual beauty and monstrosity of mythological creatures such as mermaids, selkies, sirens and all of their cousins. “The Mermaid blurs the boundary between women and fish, femininity and ferocity, land and sea, human and other,” says Marden. “These mythological creatures transgress the borders between human and non-human with their carnal appetites spilling over to challenge notions of the feminine." "Zoe’s performance and film is a retort to the fairytale mermaid and takes inspiration from the dark side of mermaid myths, luring what she terms “the princes of patriarchy” to watery graves," Stone adds.
While the reclaiming of the female form has a long-standing history within art, in this post #metoo climate a powerful reclaiming such as this feels even more pertinent.
all in: bodied will be on show at Galleria Mellissa from 19-21st October.