Shoplifting in Woolworths: And other acts of material disobedience

Chambers, Paula (2020) Shoplifting in Woolworths: And other acts of material disobedience. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

The solo exhibition Shoplifting in Woolworths: And Other Acts of Material Disobedience, comprises a series of free-standing and wall based sculptures, film and installation works made from domestic objects. Research process: The sculptures and installation works in this exhibition perform narratives of domestic disobedience; in each, overlooked and undervalued domestic objects have been activated through careful manipulation of the material culture of femininity to disrupt purpose and intention. These sculptural works are intrinsically domestic, the objects and materials from which they are constructed are the things of home, the stuff of femininity. Research insights: The artworks exhibited unsettle our expectations of the homeliness of home; following Alexandra Kokoli’s (2016) proposition that art informed by feminism is intrinsically uncanny, and that uncanny domesticities are those where the familiar is infected with the unfamiliar, the women and girls implied by the sculpture and installation exhibited enact domestic resistance. Using materials and objects close to hand, the domestic detritus of everyday life; these sculptural objects that reference ornaments or domestic furnishings are misleading, for their feminine materiality has been put to use in a manner that suggest rebellion, albeit with humour and an eye for colour coordination. Shoplifting in Woolworths: And Other Acts of Material Disobedience poses an alternate understanding of home as a place where women can create a site of resistance as well as comfort. Dissemination: The exhibition was open to the public at The Civic Barnsley from 25th January until 7th March. The exhibition was supported by an artist’s talk, a performance evening, a youth poetry group workshop, and a talk to Fine Art students from Barnsley College. The exhibition was reviewed by Dr. Dawn Woolley for Third Text and by Jay Drinkall for Corridor 8.

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