Dr Dawn Woolley is a Research Fellow at Leeds Arts University. Her research examines the relation between people and objects, particularly how adverts produce and disseminate social values.
Her central argument is that commodity culture turns everything into adverts, from seventeenth century still-life paintings to selfies. The title ‘Consumed: Stilled Lives’ refers to the process that turns a consumer into a display of commodities. The consumer body becomes an advert for the brands it is adorned with and the social values that it reinforces. The still life table expresses the dual meaning of the term ‘consume’ because the objects on display are edible and imply an individual’s social position through their ability to buy commodities. Therefore, the still life table is a portrait of a particular type of consumer.
The exhibition encompasses a variety of different still lives, using media including photography, video and sound, that suggest different types of consumers and contradictory relationships to consumer culture.
In Woolley’s artwork, photography is both subject and medium: she produces photographs in response to adverts. Commercial advertising and social media networks are examined as methods of circulating the social value of commodities and also as sites for potential disruptions. Interventions into the commercial visual landscape include artworks produced for posters and billboards, and site-specific artworks for social networking sites.
This exhibition is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday at our Blenheim Walk Gallery.
Opening night: Thursday 11 July 2019 5-7pm
Free entry. Refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome. Booking not required.
In conversation with Dr Kate Random Love: Tuesday 16 July 2019 5-6pm
Dr Kate Random Love is an independent art historian and writer based in the Lake District. She was awarded her PhD on "The Possibility of an Island: The Adolescent Condition in Contemporary Art in New York" by the Courtauld Institute in 2010, and has taught history and theory of art at several institutions including the Courtauld Institute of Art, The Slade School of Art and Glasgow School of Art. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming "Fandom As Methodology: A Sourcebook for Artists and Writers", which will be published by Goldsmiths Press in November 2019.
Image credit: Dawn Woolley, Celebrate (Vanitas), 2012. Photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.
- 12 July - 22 August 2019
- Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University, LS2 9AQ