25 July 2017 film (Studio is Sudden) The Northern Charter, Newcastle upon Tyne
A performance as part of Kathryn Elkin’s live video shoot for Shelter From The Storm, in which Dawn Bothwell, Tess Denman-Cleaver, Rene McBrearty, Heather Bonnie Reid and Nicola Singh also performed. Part of a series of events by Giles Bailey and Circa Projects.
Huge thanks to Emma Dalesman for the camera work, and to Kathryn Elkin for inviting me to perform, and for permission to share the footage. Additional thanks to Craig Pollard.
In the telling
Saturday 21st October 2017 An OUTPOST offsite event Gildengate House, Norwich
A one-night only screening event that took place inside an installation of hanging oilcloth lengths. Featuring video work by Giles Bailey, Competition, Tim Croft, Mani Kambo, Kate Liston, Mathew Parkin, Nicola Singh, Cherry Styles and Karis Upton. Curated by Grace Denton.
The title of the event references the name I gave to DIY gigs I organised with friends in the city during my undergraduate years. Part reenactment and recapturing of that optimistic, late-teen energy, part nod to my development as an artist in the last ten years.
With thanks especially to Craig Pollard, Karis Upton, Alice & Sarah Drummee-Hines, Issy Mitchell, Beatie Fox and Mike Goddard.
February 2017, performance with chalk and PVC tablecloth Cockshaw Burn, Hexham
Part of INHABIT, a performance art project week led by Neon Arts Top image courtesy of James Routledge, all film stills below courtesy of Craig Pollard
The piece explored live-writing, and subsequent erasing of the text composed. The text was washed away through immersion in and exposure to the natural force of the stream. The process references those historically used at the tannery building above the burn, where they would wash tanned leather in the shallow moving water below. The PVC oilcloth acts as a stand-in for the reinforced material made in the town, but this domestic fabric has two surfaces: one protective, one soft and corruptible. This softer side was marked with my chalk words, which were not completely erased by the water.
Image courtesy of James Routledge and Neon Arts
February 2017 inkjet print on digital contact film part of SLOWING INTO FORM, a BxNU MFA interim show at Vane All images courtesy of Rob Bowman
A slippery list of thoughts and actions. An exercise in focus, a litany, an attempt at self-soothing, an admittance of failure, a determined striving.
8 - 11 December 2016 BALTIC 39, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Playing Myself is a BxNU RESPOND event, presented as an intervention to Pester & Rossi's exhibition, A Bodyssey Odyssey.
Denton’s group of performance videos are projected and nestled at angles around BALTIC 39’s Project Space. Each video depicts a struggle, a futile task which may never achieve its purpose. The works are interspersed between existing Pester & Rossi works and interact with the existing sculptures.
Denton’s works act as further catalyst for the ‘active lab’ space already formed in A Bodyssey Odyssey utilising any small gaps between the inflatables, props and costumes. The overlapping soundtracks add a cacophony of sound that mirrors the existing array of colour. Denton's work acts as a counterpoint to the exhibition’s joyful zenith of 'cosmic pleasure', portraying the desperate toil we often take in trying to get there. Denton 'plays herself' by performing and stylising her actions, and in doing so, invokes the urban dictionary definition of the title: she undermines herself, she reveals a weakness.
With thanks to Craig Pollard, Tim Croft and Melissa MacPherson
BxNU Respond is an ongoing dialogue between current Northumbria University post-graduate students and PhD researchers and the exhibitions in BALTIC’s Project Space, BALTIC 39. The post-graduate community based within Northumbria University’s studios at BALTIC 39 are invited to submit proposals for a public event which in some way must respond to or have a dialogue with some aspect of the exhibition.
BxNU Respond: Grace Denton
Both things are true
Both things are true is a short film and zine by Grace Denton and Competition which looks at artifice and the manufacture of perception.
In a more abstract sense it hopes to explore a discursive approach [to culture] which subtly moves away from rigid either/or narratives and towards something else. Towards a space which allows [enables?] opposing ideas to exist simultaneously side by side + where the understanding of one does not (necessarily) negate the understanding or meaning of the other.
In the regard it seems important that the work exist in multiple mediums - as a film + a zine, as a projection on a wall + an upload on vimeo, as a handmade object + a .pdf - to be experienced independently, together, or not at all.
An experiment in the distribution of experience, home + intimacy. A collaboration with Cherry Styles.
This ~photo blog~ loosely charts our domestic lives, and acts as a conversation or way of visually checking in with eachother. We photograph what we feel compelled to, and decided not to set any rules on what to post.
Flare 2 14 May 2016 Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne
There Were Islands MFA Performance Event 16 June, 2016 Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne
A series of performances, inspired by my own distance from my English Literature dissertation. Written in 2009, it was seemingly unread by its supervisor. The piece explores neglect, and the line between self-flagellation and self-protection.
All photos courtesy of Craig Pollard.
YOU KNOW THE RULES Interim MFA show 21-24 Jan 2016, Baltic 39
An installation and performance using plants and a fridge from around the Baltic 39 MFA & PHD studios. Exploring group responsibility, neglect, self-flaggelation and my own domestic inadequacy.
The performance, which rendered the fridge usable, lasted around 17 minutes and was broadcast on periscope.
Documentation photos courtesy of Alex Harmon.
Made Itself Felt
Video exploring forced emotion, voice, communication and my fixation with REM's Shiny Happy People
Six performances gradually appear on screen, each more intensely happy than the last, each more out of sync with the music.
420 x 490mm 160gsm paper, ink, adhesive film October 2015
An effort to make a piece of paper imitate an oilskin tablecloth. Exploring artifice and the futility of attempting replication. This fragile, partially water-proof fabric may be used as if it is robust and protective within a performance at a later date.
The comic sans flavoured print was designed as a stripped down 'happy birthday', isolating the manufacture of emotion.
Shown in November 2015 as part of RE:fold at the National Taiwan University of Arts. Each paper piece folded down to the dimensions of an OS map in order to be carried from Northumbria to Taiwan.
The year of the clown
November 2015 Baltic 39, Newcastle
A presentation without content. The start of a clownish conversation with my own practice and the art world. Performing the learning process I went through to find my place within contemporary art.
With thanks to Jodie Marks for the use of her postcards as 'notes'.
the female, the uncanny
video, photographs, research documentation, plants, ephemera June 2015, Leeds College of Art
The working space presented in this exhibition reflects continued research into artifice and being a woman. The desk and its contents were free to be handled and read.
The collaboration with Audrey Marvel (Grace's grandmother) in making the film and producing documentation was a factor that both enriched and complicated the process. The work presented here is as much about that process as the outcome. A conversation still underway.
With many thanks to Audrey Marvel, Sue Marvel, Roy Denton, Jenn Jordan and Andrew Stephenson.
An ongoing photo diary and observational exercise. Started April 2013.
When I was asked by Ellis (Trust Fund) to make this video I decided to put the song into the charge of loads of amazing women who I met/saw in the north of England over two weeks in June 2015.
I’m really interested in how a song can be altered when you experience it through a different person or situation. I first noticed this when I heard the Roy Orbison version of “I Drove All Night” which I had previously only heard by Cindi Lauper. I want to see if the tone or meaning of the song changes when the gender of the person presenting it is different.
I wanted the character of each person to come through, so I didn’t direct them to lip sync in any particular way - I really love the mixture of responses. I’m so grateful to everyone involved.
With thanks to Anne-Marie Atkinson, Asmaa, Cherry Styles, Daniela John-Charles, Esther Gamsu, Flis Mitchell, F. Norton, Hannah Williams Walton, Ingrid Francis, Isobel Harrop, Jenn Jordan, Jo Kimber, Jodie Marks, Julia Bear, K Tapply, Kate Rosanne Johnson, Mavis Boampong, Melissa J-C, Saffa Kahn, Sammaneh Poursh, Sue Marvel and Winnie Bear. To Andrew Stephenson, Devin O'Leary, Leeds College of Art and Northwest Zinefest.
The Nervy Betters - Medlar & Lud's Church
I filmed the footage for this video in Zurich in April 2014, on my phone. I then put it to these two songs by The Nervy Betters. Love those guys.