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Detours and Dislocations

Detours and Dislocations – In the Footsteps of Malcolm Lowry was exhibited at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, July 7th - August 26th, 2018. The exhibition included a cross section of pieces as follows: Lightbox with Durst Lambda Duratran transparency, Ink-jet, C-type and gelatin silver photographs; 80, 35 mm carousel slide projection (automated), Video (Black and white, 14 mins: Super 8 transfer to DVD), archival photographs and text. The exhibition was jointly exhibited with the photographer Tom Wood, Photographs of Cammell Laird Shipyard 1993 - 1996 as part of the Independents Biennial programme in conjunction with the Liverpool Biennial, 2018.

The installation at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum presented a series of individual works, which as a collection, triangulate the relationship between three locations to which I have travelled and returned. The research examines Wirral born author Malcolm Lowry’s relationship with: Liverpool/the North West; Vancouver and the Isle of Man, and the significance of these locations for Lowry’s life and writing.

This strand of practice and research investigates the work of artists, writers and others including Malcolm Lowry and Kurt Schwitters: whose writing, art practices and legacy are defined by the different modalities of travel and journeying. This might de defined by a voluntary or involuntary movement from one place to another, including tourism, migration, expatriation and exile. Malcolm Lowry was born in New Brighton in 1909 and visited the Isle of Man as a child. Lowry’s first novel Ultramarine (1933) takes Liverpool as its point of departure; he was able to complete his most important writing including Under the Volcano (1947) whilst living in Dollarton, North Vancouver, between 1940 - 1944. On the shoreline of the Burrard inlet Lowry was befriended by neighbour and a retired Manx boat builder Jimmy Craige, and it was partly though Craige that Lowry’s stories are inflected with the references to the Isle of Man which they include.

In my work an auto-ethnographic methodology investigates the role of biography and the way in which the author or artist’s presence and identity is embodied in practice and writing. The exhibition included a lightbox housed photographic artwork, C-type and gelatin-silver (black and white) photographs, video transfer from Super 8 film, a 1/50 scale model, and an automated 35 mm carousel slide projection. The configuration of works constructs a narrative, which manifests ideas of place, and the space in between. Revisiting these intersections, a space is opened up for new psychogeographic encounters with the known and unknown, which merge and diverge as new territories and identities are revealed in a condensation of time, place and memory.

Exhibition Review by Laura Robinson for a-n (the artist’s information company):

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