A new exhibition by Stacey Pitsillides invites the public to experience how artistic making can provide momentary glimpses of relationships unfolding stories of love and loss.
Material Legacies is the culmination of a four-year research collaboration with The Hospice of St Francis, a palliative care charity. This collaboration explores how artistic making supports the bereaved to negotiate their own approach to translating and finding a place for the dead in their lives. Within this process, biography is distilled into three distinct experiences, which collect a range of materials capturing the essence of the deceased's archive. This deep interaction advocates how a material approach to loss can expand our personal and aesthetic relationships with the dead.
These experiences provide momentary glimpses of relationships - through material and technological composition - that unfold unique stories of love and loss. Visitors are invited to connect with these experiences on a visceral level. The materials used become a language that is refined through the iterative process of making, as stories of the dead are told through the bereaved's physical engagement with materials and their collaborations with creative practitioners. Together the works speak of loss and self-discovery: hundreds of pin pricks turn memory to matter; clay fuses with video constructing the ‘Trainman’; and fingertips massage a message of textured paint leaving their imprint on hand and canvas.
The exhibition as a whole expresses a new materiality of death that blends narrative, craft and archives. This promotes an approach to thinking through making that supports the co-creation of loved one's physical and digital legacies. We are looking forward to present the processes and surprising conclusions to the public.
This exhibition would be of special interest to those working within the boundaries of art and public engagement, co-design and art therapy through artistic practice.
Credits: Material Legacies was created for the Stephen Laurence Gallery by Stacey Pitsillides as an outcome of her PhD in Design. This research is in association with the University of Greenwich (Creative Professions and Digital Art) and has been supported by The Hospice of St Francis and Goldsmiths, University of London. The works exhibited have been produced by Freda Earl, Sam Durant and Anne Marshall, facilitated by Elwin Harewood and Stacey Pitsillides - with the technical and design support of Aiden Finden and Giulia Brancati. With thanks to Greenwich Bright for the filmed interviews.
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