A Game of Consequences
The Engine Room, The Exchange 5th – 26th September
Artists Face the Consequences
An ambitious collaborative project spanning eight months, four counties and involving 20 artists is culminating in an exhibition in The Engine Room at The Exchange this September. The project, entitled ‘A Game of Consequences‘, inspired by the surrealist invention ‘Exquisite Corpse’ and the parlour game ‘Consequences’ was instigated by Penzance-based film and video artist Stacey Guthrie.
Guthrie, whose work was recently shown at Newlyn Art Gallery as part of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 touring show, formulated the project in collaboration with artist and filmmaker Fiona Léus Lambert and trans-disciplinary artist Janet McEwan. Together they developed the experimental, collaborative ‘game’ which has seen a two-metre by two-metre canvas travelling a total of 500 miles as it passed between the 20 artists. Each artist has had complete artistic freedom to work on or with the canvas in any way they choose for ten days before passing it on to the next. The artists’ range of practices include film, video, sculpture, painting, sound, performance and print and there have been no restrictions on how they work with the canvas, with even total destruction of the work being an option.
Absolute secrecy regarding the progress of the canvas being central to the project, the artists will not know the fate of the work until the unveiling event at 6pm on 4th September at The Exchange.
Fiona Léus Lambert, who has exhibited internationally, has been recording the journey of the canvas and will be presenting the film as part of the exhibition. The film, which also documents the artist’s responses to this experimental way of collaborating, is to be shown in Frankfurt immediately after the exhibition closes.
The list of collaborating artists includes Deborah Westmancoat, who was also selected for
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 and along with Guthrie was a finalist for The Signature Art Prize 2015 (Westmancoat in Painting and Guthrie in Photography and Video). Westmancoat has also exhibited in the RA Summer Show (2014) and was recently included in the Auction of Contemporary British Art at Morton Casa de Subastas, Mexico City.
Other artists include Morwenna Morrison, who was shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize in 2014;
Bard of the Gorsedh and playwright Pauline Sheppard, writer of the Ordinalia Cycle performed at St
Just in 2004, who has created a sound piece and ‘testament’ in response to her time with the work; Belle Benfield who is currently exhibiting in Geneva and Jude Hutchen, who has recently exhibited in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The full list of particpating artists is: Belle Benfield, Louise Bennett, Meg O’Doherty, Chris Fordwoh,
Stacey Guthrie, Rebecca D Harris, Ann Haycock, Jude Hutchen, Tony Johns, Fiona Léus Lambert, Claire Lucas, Christina Romero Cross, Janet McEwan, Morwenna Morrison, Jacqui Orly, Jan Phethean, Pauline Sheppard, Camilla Stacey, Frances Walsh, Deborah Westmancoat.
Guthrie, who was recipient of the British Women Artist Prize in 2013 said: “It quickly became apparent that the ‘game’ was providing a snapshot of what it is to be an artist at this time. Issues of etiquette, authorship and collective ownership of creative outcomes all came to the fore as artists had no guarantee that their work would survive or remain visible. The project was also entirely selffunded (with generous in-kind support from Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange) and relied on the resourcefulness of the collaborating artists to reach its conclusion. I’m very excited to see the response of the artists as the final piece is unveiled.”
As well as the unveiling of the final piece of work the exhibition will trace the journey of the canvas and the artists as they have tested what collaboration means to them individually. Through artist writings as they worked on the canvas, to work made in direct response to the experience of experimental collaboration, the exhibition includes sculpture, textiles, print, painting, montage, installation, video, artist books and sound installation.
The exhibition runs from 5th – 26th September, with an opening event on 4th September at 6pm to which all are welcome. To accompany the exhibition artist and film-maker Rachel Cornish will present a screening and discussion of her collaborative film ‘Exquisite Corpse’ on 12th September at 2pm at The Exchange. Details of the project, the artists and associated events can be found at www.agameofconsequences.co.uk.
The Engine Room, The Exchange, Princes Street, Penzance
01736 363715 www.newlynartgallery.co.uk @newlynexchange