CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #7: Jacqui Gallon

Jacqui Gallon explores the relationship between human experience, memory and material objects such as clothing. Her current practice explores the subject of absence and presence in relation to loss, mourning and the clothes left behind after death. By giving expression to loss and grief through the use of disembodied clothing, her work reflects on how these clothes ‘remember’ the physical presence of the body.

"I have been given access to a large collection of antique baby clothes and other artefacts by Joanna Herbert Stepney, custodian of the Paget Estate, Nanpantan, Loughborough. The Pagets were a wealthy land-owning family and these clothes were worn by Joan Paget during her childhood at Nanpantan Hall in the early 1900s. They are of exceptional quality, both in terms of the fabrics (pure silks, cotton batistes, voiles), the locally made lace inserts and the craftsmanship exemplified in the exquisite hand stitching.

I will be creating new work through exploration of the clothes using the camera-less technique of the photogram. The aesthetics of a photogram, which seems to ‘mystify’ the subject rather than exposing it directly like a camera, offers the potential to describe my themes in a different way. The photogram seems to intensify notions of melancholic remembrance, evocations of absence and presence and the trace of a person, revealing the wear and tears in the clothes which describe the human history of the clothing.

The photogram technique will also showcase the industrial history of the area through displaying the range of patterns produced in the historic lace making factories of Loughborough and nearby Nottingham. Additionally, highlighting the fine dressmaking details of hand sewn seams, button holes, and pin tucks, will emphasise the role of women who were employed in large country houses at that time.

A three-day event, to be supported by the Paget Trust, with exhibition of the photograms and related community activities has unfortunately been postponed until 2021 because of the Covid 19 situation. The Curator Space Bursary will, however, help support the creation of a new portfolio of work in preparation for this. The project, which is also supported by Arts Council England, will in addition, prompt reflection on how work can engage audiences in different ways, for example though online publication".

You can find out more about Jacqui’s work through her CuratorSpace profile:

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