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Three visual artists Pauline Bailey, Joyce Treasure and Ola Brown have been involved in a collaborative artist residency to explore the Lapworth Museum's collection of fossils, rocks and minerals. 

They responded to specific items or themes in Lapworth's vast collection, and this exhibition shares installations the three artists have made in response to their brief explorations. This pilot is produced and curated in partnership between the Black Arts Forum and the Lapworth Museum of Geology.

Exhibition dates
1 April - 31 August 2022

Lapworth Museum of Geology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

INTIMATE XENOLITH

Skeleton leaves, wool, synthetic hair, mycelium packaging, text, sugar starch and cowrie shells.
Soundscape
67cm height
34cm width
17cm depth

INTIMATE XENOLITH asks,

Can we study the success of natural science, like a planetary oracle, to grasp how social science can proceed? Intimate Xenolith is a soundscape installation piece combining mythology, ritual, and geology to form a speculative ancestral narrative around healing.

Artists Statement

As part of my art practice is interested in trauma, care and well being, the story surrounding Lapworth's mental health issues regarding the 'geological blunder' caught my attention. The 'geological blunder' was a controversial geological disagreement that created an atmosphere of distrust and resistance between academics, government and amateurs regarding innovative ideas. The 'geological blunder' controversy, alongside a previous work I made in 2016 titled Mantle, led to me engaging with the rock peridotite and its dynamic with the earth as an experimental starting point.
.
Credits: 

Intimate Xenolith written by Joyce Treasure orated by RED MEDUSA. 

RED MEDUSA is an established spoken word artist and scholar who combines her learnings from her experiences as a Black, neurodiverse, educated, working-class woman and mother with her academic knowledge of health and social inequalities to deliver moving, visceral and disruptive poetry. Grounded in Black feminist theory, her exciting works have led to headlines at the famous Southbank Centre in London, the infamous She Grrrowls Festival, The Million Woman Rise March and published in Vogue and Forbes Magazines.

www.poetrybyredmedusa.co.uk

IG: red.medusa

Following the launch of Stryx VR gallery space in 2020, Stryx ran SPOT VR Residency running between 4th December 2021 until 31 January 2022.

Untitled Performance / The Little Girl Who Said ‘Hi’
For my SPOT VR Residency, I explored the masquerade, characterised by masks, dances, and chants, I am interested in the Gelede performed by the Yoruba-Nago community, which pays homage to women - especially older women. The masquerade is used as satire to criticise antisocial behaviour. The Gelede is  ironic and performed during special occasions, harvests and epidemics.

Using an existing piece, Untitled Performance, as an entry point to explore how the masquerade and performance can be employed to perform strength and vulnerability, irony and satire. The Spot programme with Stryx will act as an experimental space to examine how performance, VR tech and making may inform my practice.

"The install Treasure is undertaking over December 2021 and January 2022 is titled: The Little Girl Who Wrote ‘Hi’ and draws on a subchapter of the same name of Chapter four, The Weather, In The Wake; On Blackness and Being, Christina Sharpe.

"Sharpe shows how the history of anti-black violence haunts present-day life by using The Slave Ship as a marker to categorise how contemporary Black lives in the diaspora have fewer resources represented through layers of society. Sharpe's study argues that the past predominates, and an ongoing history is embodied and embedded within territories and social stratification.

The install uses original text pages from "Stones Justice Manual" that she found in a skip outside a law office in central Birmingham. Like so many who have had to adapt and change over the past year, the company was either going into liquidation or moving. The pages are incredibly light and delicate, containing the same fragile, weighty materiality found on Bible pages.

"This opportunity was open for artists, performers, makers, crafters of Black heritage. This was a paid opportunity providing 8 week residency including access to space, curatorial and technical support for one early career and one mid-career artist. Within this residency, artists were invited to explore ideas, develop their research and create new work to experiment physically and digitally with the VR space. Previous experience working in digital / VR enviroment was not necessary. 

Gelede Elequa 360 performance

StryxVR is a Virtual Reality gallery created for the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset created by Stryx gallery with VR developer Ben Neal (Psicon Lab)"

an untitled performance

in recognition of black feminist , bell hooks , this video performance explores the notion of care through experience, employing William S. Burroughs Cut Up technique to generate new experimental meaning.

 

vvvvvvvv

an untitled performance 

your name points to a default condition of artistic practice marking an epoch where ancestral memory imbued itself , possibly , into a \ mycorrhizal network / , where manifestations saunter through our imaginations and tenderly escape us . 

for this reason you remain , \ untitled /. 

from this past , in response to the presence , you conjure hopes and dreams into the future . although , in saying this , there is nothing linear about you . you are unpolished and unfinished , made from materials upcycled , as a coping mechanism in response to losing your head , mind and marbles . pandemics have that effect on the nervous system . maybe that is why you chose lime >  a hue between green and yellow to boost a feeling of liveliness , and self-confidence , while at the same time expressing the feelings of loss and sorrow . 

you ’re my binge drinking , promiscuous nights out  > a barrier between locations .

you are a catharsis to alleviate the pressure . your dance is your voice .  

you have the power to recall childhood memories  > the draped clothing over your head adorns the innocent yearning for : farrah fawcett blond flowing locks. the dragging sound of brush against woollen sleeves , drowns out political speeches othering your pride .  in your performative seclusion ,  the back of your hands flick against the material hanging beside your small  brown face 

pushing it back over your shoulders , one sleeve at a time to emphasise the drama of flicking hair . this masquerade acts as a ritual layering . straightening out a framing of

 { shame }  

embraced inside curly brackets to keep it free from harm , cocooned inside a sentence , remaining visible to - the elephant in the room - safeguarding Being . ur strength lies here , dormant in between seasons . 

you are unpolished and unfinished 

^^^^^^^^

The Dancer by Joyce Treasure responds to Kumo's album, inspired by dance rhythms, titled Slave Dances (Seven Portraits).

Full colour 52-page A5 zine companion to the album:

”An essential accompaniment to the album, indeed a brilliantly educational document in its own right, is a full colour 52-page A5 zine, featuring soberly beguiling artwork by Joyce Treasure and superb design by Dan Taylor. Here, Kumo explains in detail how he sourced, researched and put together these pieces, his recording methods and motivations in making the album. There is additional text also from Treasure, an essay based around her cover image The Dancer, in which she lays bare the insidious processes of cultural and mental colonisation which deprive both blacks and whites of true consciousness.” David Stubbs

Click here to order zine

Slave Dances Album Cover
Cover design by Dan Taylor

The Dancer
The Dancer by Joyce Treasure

Black Bottom (James Stinson) Video by @Francesca Bonci

In response to police brutality, Black Lives Matter, Covid 19 and extremist ideology, in December 2020, values forged a new Breakaway State. In this third space, technology moved race away from the biological and genetic historical systems towards questions of technological healing and agency...

Read full document

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February 2019 - Jan 2020

Two Birmingham artists, who won free studio space for a year in a specially created facility at Bruntwood’s Cornwall Buildings, have moved into their new residence.

Joyce Treasure and Suzi Osborn were among 25 applicants for Bruntwood-Grand Union’s artists-in-residence scheme designed to help kick start careers of young or emerging artists in Birmingham.

The new studio in the basement of the Grade II-listed building on Newhall Street is the latest step in Bruntwood’s drive to encourage greater support for the city’s arts and cultural scene from the wider business community.

During the next 12 months, Joyce and Suzi will use their residency to create art that reflects the Birmingham of today.

It is striking about Amsterdam-North that women are underrepresented in the streetscape. Mothers spend time at the playgrounds, but the design of public space itself is mostly aimed towards men and younger children. Joyce will be investigating the social routes that women follow in this neighbourhood and the role public areas play in it.

Joyce Treasure
Multidisciplinary Artist
All Rights Reserved
Joyce Treasure © 2020
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