Labour exchange

Taylor, Sarah and Nougarède, Magali (2014) Labour exchange. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

This exhibition brings together works by painter Sarah Taylor and photography practitioner Magali Nougarède. ‘Labour Exchange’ was initially developed with Helen Sear who noticed similarities in Nougarède and Taylor’s practices. Research process: In their practice research, both artists use the domestic object as source material, especially soft furnishings re-appropriated from previous generations: fabrics, clothing, wallpaper, cloths, tea towels. These items are at the centre of the artists’ visual consciousness, both as objects of aesthetic fascination and as objects of historical and political significance. Taylor’s grandmother coveted objects to make her home look respectable, whilst Nougarède’s protestant family was entrenched in the production of linen, cottons and tea towels in the 19th and 20th century Normandy textile industry. Both artists see the domestic object as an opportunity to interrogate power relations, past and present, in terms of gender, class (especially in Taylor’s case) and political ideology, to address political inequities and reclaim histories. Research insights: Traditionally photography has been seen as inferior to painting, however it is the contemporary photographic discourse, defined by thinkers and writers such as Jo Spence, Annette Kuhn and John Tagg, that helps articulate some of the ideas for this exhibition. Both artists thrive on playing outside the boundaries of their own medium, contesting the parameters of both painting and photography. Conforming is not an option. Some of Taylor’s paintings made by direct application of paint laden fabric or cloth unto the canvass, at times adopt qualities of photographic exactness, whilst Nougarede’s high contrast enlarged tea towel grids printed on cotton rag paper may recall pencil marks on drawing paper. Dissemination: The exhibition was disseminated at BayArt Gallery, Bute Street, Cardiff Bay. Helen Sear led a pre-preview “In conversation” with artists Magali Nougarède and Sarah Taylor titled: A gendered perspective?.

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