Materials: Film and sound projection. Wool, clay, grass, cordyline leaves, papier mache.
Karen is a Brighton based artist and PhD researcher at Chelsea College of Art (UAL). Her practice-based approach uses sound, film, and sculpture as a form of speculative enquiry into notions of ‘becoming-animal’ and animality. Karen’s work focuses on the paradoxical spaces inhabited by molluscs and insects, and explores how the artwork might enable a reimagining of new multispecies relationships to create a greater awareness of the ecological importance of these animals.
I wanted to focus on the space between sheep and humans – a paradoxically domestic space where lives and matter are bound-up, entangled and in a constant flow of becoming. I approached this in a non-prescriptive and playful way, using only natural materials, film and sound.
I volunteer as a ‘lookerer’, a kind of assistant shepherd, working with sheep on Downland sites around the edges of Brighton and Hove. Here, sheep graze on a number of important conservation and ancient chalklands as part of a rewilding project. I utilize these and other similar paradoxical spaces as residencies – places for encounter and alliance with nonhumans and ecologies. I ease myself into the environment, in close proximity to the flock – a transformative process of undoing and shape-shifting; a kind of shedding of humanness.
I use ‘becoming-animal’ as a starting point from which to jump in other directions and ways of thinking. This is a concept devised by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari*, which offers a mode of escape from binary thinking. It is always in flight; it destabilises and dislodges, allowing for unexpected connections and relations to emerge and to open up new possibilities and perceptions.Karen Piddington, 2022
Recently finished, and still worth mentioning…
June through August 2022 – Annie Taylor: FITCHERS VOGEL
(A dedicated page for her show is under construction. Come back soon, or go see Annie’s instagram for some seriously sinister storytelling if you just can’t wait…)
For the Whitstable Biennale Satellite, Annie Taylor has taken possession of Small House Cottage and has turned it into a stop-action animation set for her retelling of Fitchers Vogel, which she is displaying in the window of her Whitstable home-studio throughout the summer months. It’s looking as magical, and sinister, as it should.
Fitchers Vogel is a grim-Grimm tale of three sisters, and a robber bridegroom/sorcerer. This darkly magical character entices each sister to his ornately-decorated many-roomed woodland abode, and then he gives her a key she must not use, and an egg she must not put down.
Fitchers Vogel (or Fitcher’s Bird) is a story in the same bloody vein as Bluebeard. The narrative will unfold through textile figures using each room of the Cottage as a chapter. “Some rooms may never be the same again,” warns Ms Whitstable Tail herself.
Living on the coast, Sinéid Codd is drawn to the ever changing nature of the sea and its’ transitory relationship with the edges of land. Her ongoing work, ‘a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago’ responds to the times we have been living through since 2016 and invites the viewer to navigate a co-created Lilliputian world inhabited by fossilised and fragile cast sculptures, as a series of abandoned islands, created by the sea.
“My work is a response to time and place through curiosity and my fascination with found objects. Play is at the heart of my interdisciplinary practice, which encompasses sculpture, photography and painting, often brought together in site-responsive installations that invite inquisitiveness.”
For her installation, ‘from the archipelago’ with Small House Gallery, “due to our climate emergency and coastal erosion, the house, now an abandoned home, has fallen off the cliff. A transformation of scale has taken place: the topsy-turvy house has been taken over by miniature islands who feel larger within its confines and safer from the turbulent seas.”
Sinéid Codd is an interdisciplinary artist with a long history of socially engaged practice. Recent solo installations: ‘a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago’, Observer Building, Hastings (2020); ‘as small as the world and as large as alone.’, Project 78 Gallery, St Leonards on Sea (2019); ‘between skylight and dust’, (two person), hARTslane, London, 2019. Recent awards: Alpine Fellowship (shortlisted 2021); a-n Artist Bursary 2020 and 2019; Artquest’s Peer Forum at Cubitt with fellow Peer Social Artists (2018); London Creative Network placement, SPACE, London (2017). She’s currently a freelance artist educator with the De La Warr Pavilion.
Small House Cottage (and Small House Garage) have gone on tour to Northumberland from March through May. Karen Melvin, our artist for April, has transported these two beloved Small House properties to the North East and will be displaying the works of Northumberland-based artists in her own studio, in her garden, and in various points of interest in her region.
This is a three month-long, remote co-curation project will be evolving throughout, so keep in touch via Instagram, Facebook, and the dedicated >>>>> Small House North East <<<< WordPress page for updates.
View the COMING SOON… page via the top or side menus.