Ritual Practice, 2021
Artcore Gallery, Derby City
Single Channel Video / 08:39
This short looks at the privatization of public space and the ever-changing tactics involved in redevelopment. It sees a millennial mystic converge with a junior designer to perform a Zoom seance - with the hope of 'cleansing' the space around the gallery - Osnabruck Square - of its unwanted energy.
During the making of this short, the artist consulted with and researched the language and practices of local mystics and architects alike. Artcore's youth group were also involved, designing the space's fictional guardian.
About the exhibition:
In early 2021, artists Ryan Heath and Katy Hawkins took up residence with Artcore Gallery as part of Circling the Square: Visions of an Unmade City. During their residency, the artists were invited to critically interrogate the situation that is Derby. Situation meaning a set of conditions in time and place – a convergence of site, non-site, place, non-place, locality, public space, context, past, present and future.
Creature Design by Artcore's Youth Group
Editing by Matthew Goward
Performance by Sam Hulmes and Ryan Heath
Set Design by Oona Evergreen
Thinning, 2019 - present
An installation and animated short for virtual reality.
This ongoing work takes inspiration from the apotropaic graffiti or ‘witch marks’ of Creswell Craggs, an enclosed limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The cliffs in the ravine contain several caves housing ritual protection marks dating back hundreds of years. During this time a fear of the unknown prompted superstitious locals to mark many symbols in these rocks holding multiple meanings, which number in the high hundreds in one cave alone. Death and disease were everyday companions and evil forces could readily be imagined in this dark void. Marks have since been found in all caves at Creswell Crags.
The artist re-imagines such a phenomena in post-industrial Britain. Visuals are drawn from the artist’s interest in contemporary symbology, found in the urban environment. Through the use of these symbols, Heath considers how the unknown plays a role in the construction of narrative and examines how we seek meaning in an increasingly complex world. Heath borrows from the historical, semiotic and occult to illustrate these very human traits.
The work was shown on Friday 07 - 14 December at Broadway Gallery, Nottingham in 2019. This installation was produced with the generous support of Broadway’s Near Now and The University of Nottingham. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Score by AJA Ireland.
Performance by Dean Morris
Installation by Anna Manfield and George Chinnery.
Acrylic Paint on MDF with Steel Frame & Security Spikes, 1050 x 2050
This piece was originally commissioned by BACKLIT Gallery as part of their Mountain of Tongues exhibition, celebrating the complexity of distinct languages.
This freestanding painting explores a series of forms, materials and subject together on one surface area, as a way to depict marks collected and interpreted from unassuming places within the Sneinton area of Nottingham. Notions of forgotten or defunct signage exist in the work as we are presented with a visual language that gives an oblique reference to the physical footprint of a place as it rests playful within the surrounding architecture.
It has since toured as part of the UKYA Nottingham City Takeover Festival and GRAFT - a group show at the Harris Museum in Preston.
This Way, That Way, 2018
A collaboration with BACKLIT Gallery and CVAN (Creative Visual Arts Network) on their project 'In Another Place'.
In Another Place is a celebration of contemporary art produced and presented by venues in the East Midlands.
10 regional organisations invited visual artists to present original artworks on advertising billboards in a range of locations for 6 weeks. Transforming these everyday hoardings into a vibrant display across the region, In Another Place aims to bring art to audiences, in places where normally they would see advertising.