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Artist Talk: Fran Disley

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Castlefield Gallery

2 Hewitt Street

Manchester

M15 4GB

United Kingdom

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Multidisciplinary artist Frances Disley talks about her approach to worldbuilding

About this Event

The future belongs to those who imagine it. What future then do we want – creatively, politically, socially?

The 2020 Castlefield Gallery Associates programme takes the theme of world-building – the process of constructing imaginary worlds, sometimes whole fictional universes. Artists, activists and other visionaries have always created worlds of the imagination and then striven to bring them into being. New worlds have been based around different ways of perceiving form or the idea that gender isn’t fixed or mutual aid being a higher aspiration than individual reward. As we make our way into the 2020s, in a world characterised by instability and flux, what worlds are artists creating for themselves and others? Events this year range from an exploration of the multidisciplinary practice of Frances Disley to the use of language to shape reality and the activist practice of Ellie Harrison.

For our February session Frances Disley  will merge reality with fiction, incorporating her fascination with sci fi into a description of the development of her practice from art school to the studio. Disley's practice encompasses paint, movement, dance, food, smell, sculpture, textiles and ceramics; her work for our current exhibition Thumbs Up is informed by research into the potential psychological effects of colour on mood, happiness and wellbeing. Disley has made the gallery space into a place of comfort and relaxation - her works include a site-specific painting, a pair of hand-painted SAD lamps, a mass of plant-filled pinch pots and a series of hand-painted cushions influenced by colours assessed by Nike to be the optimum colours to wear during a yoga session. See below for info about forthcoming Thumbs Up events, including two lunchtime yoga sessions.

Frances Disley is based in The Royal Standard, Liverpool and was a Liverpool Biennial Associate Artist (2016); her work has recently become part of the Arts Council Collection. Recent works include Tripleflex at Bluecoat, as part of LEAP Dance Festival 2019 merging visual art and dance, for which she presented an immersive installation activated by contemporary dance artists, accompanied by a newly commissioned soundtrack from techno producer MT Hall. Tripleflex explored the potential of working with performance to expand the gesture of painting across garments, sculptures and flooring, acting as a guide or score for the performers.

Also in 2019 Disley presented Cucumber Fell in the Sand, an exhibition at Humber Street Gallery Hull alongside collaborators. Through her ongoing interest in the subject of trends around self-care, she investigated Hull’s rich heritage around food with an exhibition that featured sculpture, painting, textiles and plant life. Cucumber Fell in the Sand was supported by an extensive programme of activities, events and take home objects that celebrated the goodness of people and nature. Disley designed a habitat based around comfort and consumption, where every aspect is interlinked. Soft furnishings were dyed with natural pigments such as turmeric, nettle and avocado pits and filled with scented soft furnishings as an invitation to spend time and relax with the artwork. In the space viewers were encouraged to pay attention to what makes them feel good and why, with artwork that stimulated all the senses beyond just the visual.

Other recent exhibitions, projects and performances include : Solo Show, OUTPUT Gallery, Liverpool, (2019); Inner Landscapes, Hilbert Raum, Berlin, (2019); Residency - Activation #1, Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, (2019); We Are Where We Are, Baltic 39, Newcastle, (2018); RRR & R&R as part of At the Libraries, Sefton Libraries, (2018); Mustard Blanket, Grampian Hospital Arts Trust, Aberdeen, (2018); Abacus, Bluecoat, Liverpool, (2017).

Image: Frances Disley, from her exhibition 'The Cucumber Fell in the Sand' at Humber Street Gallery, July 2019.

Exhibition photograph: Jules Lister.

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Castlefield Gallery

2 Hewitt Street

Manchester

M15 4GB

United Kingdom

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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