Brighton CCA Artist in Residence
Pictured: Grandmother, 2018, vintage upholstery bodies, lumbar support bandages, upholstery and PVC blanket
A new partnership between the University of Brighton and the Mahler & LeWitt Studios offers an artist a unique opportunity to develop their practice with a residency in Spoleto followed by an exhibition in the UK at Brighton CCA. After an Open Call, Polly Alexander, recent University of Brighton Alumni in Fine Art, was awarded the opportunity by the selection panel (comprising Helen Cammock, Turner Prize Winner; Ben Roberts, Artistic Director Brighton CCA; and Guy Robertson, Curator and Co-director Mahler & Lewitt Studios). Polly’s sculptural practice focusses on connections between the care of objects and the body, the role of the viewer in making the work and questions of participation in a gallery context. She says, “My work is concerned with the body and its supports, the ways in which the body is physically cradled and fixed, as well as its inherent loneliness and desire for touch and comfort.” Polly will be spending time at collections and museums in Umbria, learning about archival practices and histories which will form the basis of her exhibition. Discussing museum collections she says, “I imagine that these objects are just as desirous of touch as we are. There is an overlap between the systems of care we employ for these objects and the ones we accord to our very own bodies. I wonder how our bodies themselves function as archives, as relics of the past. There is an inherent loneliness to the body, which is mimicked by the museum. The drive to preserve ourselves is mirrored in our desire to preserve the past and its objects.”
Part of the University of Brighton, Brighton CCA is a centre for contemporary arts, free and open to all, hosting world class exhibitions, projects, commissions and research by international emerging and established artists. Responsive to its context within an art school, the focus is on supporting the development of artists’ practice and practice based research; nurturing cross disciplinary dialogue and placing the resources of the University at the disposal of artists and audiences.