Artist in Residence: Kayley Gladwin

This week we’re pleased to be having Kayley Gladwin to stay. Kayley graduated from the BA in Fine Art at our local art college Hereford College of Arts this summer, and is the inaugural recipient of the (snappily titled) Down Stairs / Hereford College of Arts Residency Award. The award is given to a graduating artist based not just on the work displayed in the final exhibition (although Kayley’s final piece was an exemplary work), but also from us seeing students practices via our collaborations with the college through off site projects, tutorials and lectures. Kayley took part in a project at Great Brampton House this time last year entitled Field Work, where her subtle approach to materials and their environment really shone through. We look forward to exhibiting work by Kayley at Down Stairs in 2013.

Kayley’s work is about the body as an organic vessel – the fine lines between life and death, survival and decay, fluid and solid, thick and thin, inner and outer; she use’s her work to communicate the impermanence of life, the remnants and traces that are left behind. She has often worked with found, emotive materials for their fragility and unstable qualities, for the tension that they can create – paper, textiles, latex and wax (thus relating back to the body). The processes she uses are also highly considered – she is interested in deconstruction; removing a material or object from its stable points of reference, and presenting it as a new form, suspended between perishing and flourishing.

Her work has diverted towards film and performance as of late; using the physical body as my material, rather than merely representing it – she feels that my message is conveyed more immediately in this format. Kayley is undertaking various projects that fuse concepts of temporality and varying degrees of emotional, physical and mental states with contemplated acts, often involving endurance. She expects to respond to Down Stairs and Great Brampton House on a very sensitive level, via exploring their historical contexts and surrounding areas; her ideas frequently challenge social constructs and the boundaries of humanitarian subjects.

Kayley describes her art practice has always been of paramount importance in her life: “I lived in a hostel when I was sixteen years old, just to pursue my early art education at Derby College. Although I was accepted into Falmouth’s College of Arts eight years ago, I declined the offer in exchange for some further life experience. It is since finally completing a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art (at Hereford College of Arts), that I have discovered what my practice is constructed around; the inescapable thread between two extremes – life and death, lost and found, elation and sorrow, etc.; the uncomfortable yet intriguing moments in life that cannot be fully explained, or denied. By bringing these subjects to the surface, acknowledging them and presenting them to others, I am attempting to reconnect with what often seems such a desensitised world. My research often includes obscure objects or methods of travel (vintage ‘Housewife’ annuals, for e.g), but also spans across history and philosophy – from Duchamp to Hesse, Serra, Bourgeois, Beuys, and (Karla) Black; more recently I have been inspired by Abramovic and Viola. Aside from continuing with my art investigations, I expect to study further; a PGCE or MA in Fine Art, based in the South.”


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