Florence Peake: CASS/West Dean Residency

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Florence Peake ‘The Keeners’, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and commissioned by SPACE.         Image credit Tim Bowditch.

14th May – 6th June 2017
Cass Sculpture Foundation and West Dean College
With thanks to Arts Council England.

West Dean College and Cass Sculpture Foundation are pleased to announce Florence Peake as the 2017 CASS artist-in-residence. This May, Peake will be resident at West Dean College for three weeks, making use of the incredible studio facilities, resources and technical expertise available at both the college and at CASS to create a new body of ceramic work inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s musical score The Rite of Spring. With the assistance of dancer Rosemary Lee, Florence Peake plans to choreograph a routine to be performed on a stage of raw clay. Through grabbing, pushing and pulling the clay, Rosemary will form violent eruptions on the surface to echo the dramatic score of The Rite of Spring. As a result, the surface of the clay will become an abstract documentation of this performance and a sculptural interpretation of Stravinsky’s composition. The clay stage will subsequently be divided into tiles to be fired in the wood-fired kiln at CASS.Florence will work with videographer Becky Edmunds to produce a film to be shown in conjunction with the ceramic sculpture at the exhibition in November.

This residency will support the development of Peake’s long term project with the Jerwood Charitable Trust – Peake received the second edition of the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project award in November 2016.
CASS Projects provides emerging artists the opportunity to research, experiment and expand the possibilities of their own practice. Through an annual residency programme in partnership with West Dean College, CASS allows artists to make new trans disciplinary works, which question and expand the definition of sculpture, with the use of the CASS wood-fired kiln.

The residency will culminate in an exhibition co-curated by Tayah Leigh Barrs and Helen Turner from the 2nd – 26th November 2017, at STUDIO_LEIGH, London.

The residency partnership with West Dean College
West Dean College is located just five miles north of Cass Sculpture Foundation. In 2016 a partnership between the two organisations was established to offer a residency to contemporary artists interested in exploring the potential of wood-fired ceramics.

The wood-fired CASS kiln was built in 2015 when artists Alex Hoda and Robert Rush proposed the kiln as a functioning sculpture and open resource for contemporary artists interested in exploring ceramics. Since then 14 artists have created new work in the CASS kiln, including: Laure Prouvost, Jesse Wine, Bedwyr Williams, Aaron Angell, Suzanne Dery, Jackson Sprague, Mark Essen, Paulina Michnowska, Josee Aubin
Ouellette, Aideen Doran and Jennifer Bailey. The wood-fired kiln is also an open-resource for ceramicists who are able to benefit from affordable communal firings. Information about upcoming kiln events are listed on the event pages of the CASS website.

Florence Peake biography
As a trained dancer, Florence Peake’s background in choreography and painting stimulates a studio practice that is both diverse and immersive. Often working performatively to incorporate drawing, painting and sculptural materials, Peake’s work explores the relationship between materials and the moving body.
Through public performances and carefully choreographed works, Florence Peake challenges notions of physicality and loss as well as political concerns such as the commodification of art by the corporate world.
By encouraging chaotic relationships between the body and material, Peake creates radical and outlandish performances, which create temporary alliances and micro-communities within the audience. In believing that objects and materials have their own autonomy and subjectivity, Peake draws on the expansive vocabulary of materials to enhance and contextualise her work. The sculptural works operate as documentation of the performance, but never in a reductive way, as Peake attempts to incorporate much
more than the pure physicality of the performance, such as the effects of site and audience. Florence Peake is a London-based artist who has been making work since 1995.

A selection of recent exhibitions includes Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden, Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome (2017); The Keeners, SPACE, London; Voicings, Serpentine Gallery Offsite Project, London (2016); Lay me down, NoTT Dance Festival, Nottingham, UK; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (2015); Swell the Thickening Surface of, Hayward Gallery, London (2014); MAKE, BALTIC, Gateshead, UK; Swell the Thickening Surface of, Tintype, London (2013); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, UK; REMAKE, Baltic 39, Gateshead, UK; Lanchester Gallery, Coventry, UK (2012); Chorus; Paper Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London (2010).

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