Production Still Disturbance (2021)
I am a visual artist and filmmaker based in London and Surrey. As a socially engaged artist I enjoy helping to facilitate the telling of others' stories, responding to a heritage site or cultural context and uncovering and highlighting links between historical and contemporary contexts. Individual and group identities and shared histories are the key themes I explore, with the intention of bringing hidden or lesser-known narratives to the fore. I am fascinated by the relationship between textiles and our identities and I incorporate textiles along with a variety of other media: video, voice/audio, costuming, print, installation and performance as appropriate to the context. In depth research and an engagement with the chosen context and/or community is a driving force within my practice. I strive to work ethically with integrity, sensitivity and respect and present the work to as diverse an audience as possible in creative and accessible ways.
I have considerable experience of working with diverse communities and environments through personal art projects as well as Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF ) community projects.
My two commissioned film and installation responses to conservation and National Trust sites explore the conflicts caused by invasive species and pollution on a Wildlife and Wetlands Trust site (Disturb_ance for Wetlands Unravelled) and the social history surrounding a past owner of a National Trust Country Estate (An Exquisite Diversion for Unravelling The Vyne) respectively.
Recently, I have been researching alongside a local historian and have created a banner that highlights the working conditions and political actions of a group of female factory workers in Wandsworth in 1908. This was paraded as part of the Wandsworth Heritage Festival and after being displayed at St Georges Hospital UCL from May 22-November 2023 will be displayed at Wandsworth Heritage Centre. (The Corruganza Boxmakers) . Contexts in which I have made documentary style films include a Drop In centre for homeless people, Living history military history groups and a Napoleonic fort, a group of heritage motorcyclists and an iconic 'bikers' cafe and a Roman Catholic priest and his church.
I have facilitated several printing workshops at a community drop in centre for homeless and vulnerably housed men and women, and a Harris Academy.
I have also assisted with several Heritage Lottery Funded projects as a costume maker and oral history collector for projects that concern heritage, people and place, working and leisure connections with The River Wandle (River Wandle Flowing Through Time and Vandalis)
My work has been exhibited widely in the UK including St.Georges UCL (2023), The London Wetlands Centre, Barnes (2021), 44AD Gallery, Bath (2019), The Whitstable Biennale Satellite Programme (2018), The Brighton Fringe Festival (2018), The Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable (2018 & 2017), Surface Gallery Nottingham (2017), hARTslane Gallery, London (2016), A-Side B- Side Gallery, London (2016) Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery, London (2015) and The Vyne (National Trust) Basingstoke (2013). See CV for more details
I gained an MA Fine Art (2013) and BA (Hons) Time-Based Media (2011) at Wimbledon College Of Arts, London. I have twice worked with the arts organisation Unravelled, having received commissions to create work for Wetlands Unravelled (2021) and Unravelling The Vyne (2013). Conference screenings include Digital/Material: developments in printed and woven textiles (2017) and The Erotic Cloth Colloquium (2015) for The University For The Creative Arts.
Production still Disturb_ance 2021
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Copyright Sharon McElroy 2022