• Barrier, ref: 9774-14, Art Textiles

      Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom, 2015-10-10)
      'Barrier, ref: 9774-14', is a series of 10 modular sculptural components, 5 of which were exhibited as part of the international 'Art_Textiles' exhibition at The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester 10 October 2015-31 January 2016. Occupying four main galleries, 'Art_Textiles' brought together works dating from the 1960s to the present day by 27 artists from around the world who use textiles as a powerful tool for expressing ideas about the social, political and artistic. The exhibition included iconic feminist pieces from the 1970s by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Faith Wilding, Miriam Shapiro, Elaine Reichek as well as contemporary works by artists such as Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Lubana Himid. A 96 page catalogue with a forward by the Whitworth's director Maria Balshaw, introductory essay by deputy director and curator of the exhibition Jennifer Harris and further essays by Pennina Barnett and Julia Bryon-Wilson accompanied the exhibition. Designed so that they could be variably (re)configured according to the exhibition and installational context, the modular sculptural components take the form of temporary barriers or handrails which play between a work of art and functional object. As a free standing form, the handrail directs us through space, but it also operates as a barrier which divides space, defines boundaries and alternately either denies or allows access. Articulating space in a physical way, the work also addresses the broader metaphorical connotations of borders and boundaries and their implications in terms of traditional discourses of power. Whilst the work creates a boundary that dictates the movement of the viewer and affords significance to the space that it delineates, the boundary is clearly arbitrary and open to revision. Consciously referencing seminal hard-edged minimalist modular configurations such as Donald Judd’s floor-based open frame-like structures, these works are upholstered and intricately embroidered through the labour intensive process of darning. However, rather than take centre stage, they might easily be mistaken for institutional furniture, where the self-effacing labour intensity of their production could go unnoticed. For the 'Art_Textiles' exhibition they formed a barrier around the artist Susan Collis's work which similarly involves an enormous amount of hidden labour and plays with our perceptions of everyday objects, whereas in previous configurations they have quietly protected the more spectacular work of Grayson Perry.
    • Being at home abroad: Londoners ‘ong continong’ (on the continent) in the 19th-century comics of Marie Duval.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (, 6th Graphic Novel and Comics Conference and 9th Bande Desinee Society Conference, Paris., 2015-06-01)
      Marie Duval is one of the great unsung cartoonists of the 19th century. Her work for the journal Judy between 1869-1885 took comic strips into new and unexpected areas. One of her interests was travel, and in particular the way in which working class and lower middle class people were starting to go on holiday abroad. This phenomenon was a continuation of the notion of the ‘tour’, an upper class pursuit aimed at improving one’s cultural capital though seeing the (usually classical) sights. However, the new cheap package tours of the late 19th century allowed a ‘lower sort’ to participate – with obvious comedic possibilities for the cartoonist. This paper will explore Duval’s take on the clash of manners when ordinary British people came into contact with ‘funny foreigners’ (in particular the French, the Swiss, and the Germans), while at the same time indicating her very knowing references to cartooning traditions (Busch, Rowlandson, etc.) and her ‘other’ career as a popular actress. The paper is part of a bigger project about Duval, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and will be presented jointly by the project’s three leads.
    • Between Presence and Program: The Photographic Error as Counter Culture

      Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester
      Common photographic errors such over or under exposure, blur, or inadvertent cropping are increasingly rare as technological developments in digital photography have sought to eradicate the error from practice and perception. Efficiencies such as camera automation and image preview are often designed to remove the ‘unreliability’ of the human element in order to produce accurate and consistent images. The error, occurring on the margins of practice and increasingly rare, provides a counterpoint to this prevailing image culture by revealing the interdependence of photographer and camera through unintended outcomes. This chapter explores the ideological assumptions entwined in the development of camera technologies, and how cultures of practice based on a hierarchy of control between camera or photographer arose. Through examples drawn from the research project In Pursuit of Error, the chapter demonstrates how the error disrupts this hierarchy by evidencing the shared subjective agency of camera and photographer. The methodological framework of Actor-Network Theory is used to interrogate the relationship between photographer and camera and reveals them as equal ‘actants’ in the event of photographing. The embodied photographer’s attitude of play, experimentation and not-knowing is interdependent on the camera as a co-creator of unexpected image events which disrupt the conventions of photographic representation.
    • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (2019-03-15)
      This is a case study describing the development of a dossier format photobook as a distributed archive, Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal by Tim Daly. The work presents a twenty-five year long project recording the interior spaces, ephemera and artifacts of an abandoned large scale hospital facility, alongside material collected separately by a county archivist. The work makes explicit the link between past and present by re-materialising archive matter and original photography to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. The books forefronts the materiality of collected photographs, documents and ephemera through touch and disruptive sequencing. By handling the loose-leaf contents of the books, viewers are presented with an enhanced, haptic reading experience. The recirculation of material artefacts within the dossier provides an additional kind of archive experience recalling souvenirs, the museum and private collecting. As Scott (2014: 130) suggests ‘The interaction between the book as a material object and its readers brings the book to life, just as the materiality of the book interacts with its narrative.’ Designed to be handled and navigated in a manner that wouldn’t be possible with fragile originals, the choice of papers, unconventional printing processes and hand assembly techniques creates an enhanced experience for the reader. Disrupting the reader’s expectations of a facsimile, the book encourages touch and explores a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone.
    • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester
      For photographers and visual artists of all disciplines, self-publishing has grown exponentially through the use of digital print technologies and the Internet, providing new ways to distribute work to a worldwide audience. Annette Gilbert suggests contemporary practitioners now engage in publishing as art practice, renegotiating the traditional publishing frameworks of processes, institutions and discourses. Certain photobooks operate by re-materialising recent and archive photographs to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. In the post-digital era, such books are made to be handled and scrutinised at close quarters in the personal space of the reader rather than behind glass in an art museum or library. Many photographers employ ‘thingness’ as reflexive strategy in their book works, and as Ivan Vartanian and Ryuichi Kaneiko observe, an astute choice of materials ‘can bring a heightened level of physicality to the photobook as [an] object.’ Bill Burke’s I Want to Take Picture (1987) and Donovan Wylie’s & Timothy Prus’ Scrapbook (2009), are both facsimiles of unique journals, where original pages are rephotographed and presented verbatim. Yet can a book that has been materially or reprographically enhanced ever become more than a mere facsimile?
    • Book handling as a research method

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Impact Press Publications, 2018-04-11)
      How do we conceptualise touch? Unlike most visual art, touch is a fundamental aspect of interacting with artists’ books and without such a physical interaction with the artefact it is impossible to fully make sense of it. Despite this, there is no obvious syntax for us to report our experiences of handling an artists’ publication. Without handling a book, entire swathes of intertextual nuances could be missed - the deliberate material choices of the artist and the reader’s own rich experiential past never get the chance to make meaning. It can be argued that handling books provides a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone. Developing a framework for reporting this haptic experience applying notions from material culture (for touch) and from literary theory (for intertextuality) together into a discourse to enrich and enhance our understanding of artists’ book works.
    • Cargo Space

      Grennan, Simon; Sperandio, Christopher; University of Chester; Rice University Houston (Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis, 2015-09-01)
      A public exhibition at the Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis
    • Circus Starr: App for Autistic Audiences Research and Development Report

      Bright, Rebecca; Logan, Cath; Piper-Wright, Tracy; Therapy Box, Circus Starr, University of Chester (Nesta, 2015-09)
      The final report for the Digital R&D Project 'Show and Tell', funded by the AHRC, Arts Council England and Nesta. During an 18 month period the project investigated the potential of digital technology to enhance engagement with live arts events for children with autism through the development and testing of a proprietary mobile app.
    • Competence in Your Own Enactment: Subjectivity and the Theorisation of Participatory Art.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2014-02-01)
      A chapter in the edited collection "Real Lives, Celebrity Stories: narrative of ordinary and extraordinary people across media."
    • Concrete Knowledge

      McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Darc Space, 26 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, 2016-05-17)
      Catalogue essay in exhibition catalogue.
    • Conversations in Sculpture

      Turner, Jeremy; University of Chester
      An exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery during July ~September 2019 brining together members of the Royal Society of Sculptors from the north and the midlands to coincide with the 2019 Yorkshire Sculpture International. Ten members and fellows of the RSS took part in the show curated by Grant Scanlan. The exhibition was lottery funded by Arts Council England and Kirklees Council and featured an accompanying catalogue with foreword by Clare Burnett, President of the RSS and catalogue essay by Stephen Clarke, University of Chester. Nine artists talks, three workshops and one mentoring session were also schedules through the duration of the exhibition.
    • Courir deux lièvres: un roman de peu de mots

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2015-01-01)
      A scholarly remediation of one of the later novels of Anthony Trollope for the Francophone market.
    • Cultural cognitive differences in the spatial design of three-dimensional game environments

      Summers, Alan; University of Chester (Space Syntax Laboratory,The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 2015-07-08)
      Research into cognition has indicated cultural differences between Western and East Asian subjects in the perception of two-dimensional screen based images. East Asian subjects are able to process complex changes in visual information across a screen space better than Western subjects, who deal best with centralised changes. This paper discusses how these cultural cognitive differences transfer to the design and interpretation of three-dimensional virtual space, as represented on a two-dimensional screen. Space syntax measures where used to analyse East Asian and Western game environments. Initial results indicate that there are statistically significant differences between the spatial parameters of the two cultural groups of chosen game environments. The analysis of three-dimensional game space also indicates spatial design differences between original Western game environments and their adapted form for the East Asian games market. These adapted game environments are spatially comparable to game environments from other East Asian games, indicating a considered design approach to the design of three-dimensional environments for a different cultural market. The question of whether cultural influence on the design of each game space is tacit or explicit is also considered. Local spatial characteristics that a designer may visually manipulate, where correlated with global spatial characteristics a designer cannot visually determine. The findings indicate cognitive differences in the design of three-dimensional space are present between the groups of Western and East Asian game environments. Results also indicate that these can be discussed in terms of known cultural cognitive differences in the interpretation of two- dimensional imagery.
    • Death returned her to rags - Fzkke Gallery

      Dilworth, Alexe; University of Chester (2016-07-08)
      'Death returned her to rags' is a solo exhibition installed at the Fzkke Gallery, Euskirchen, Germany. It features a substantial body of work investigated through photography, print, sculpture and site-specific interventions. The work explores both the physical and mythological resonances within remote rural landscapes. The date of the show was from 8th July 2016 - 21st of August 2016.
    • Depiction as comedy and truth: women’s dress in Marie Duval’s drawings for ‘Judy’ 1869 – 1885.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Dressing and Undressing the Victorians Conference, University of Chester, 2015-03-01)
      This paper will present and theorise aspects of the facture and iconography of the work of pioneering female cartoonist Marie Duval, in relation to conceptions and representations of women’s dress in London in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s. Duval’s work appeared in a variety of the cheap British penny papers and comics of the 1860s-1880s. An actress as well as a cartoonist, she lived and worked in an environment of music halls and unlicensed theatres, sensational plays, serials, novels and comic journals. Her drawing style was theatrical, untutored and introduced many techniques that only became common in much later cartooning. She drew hundreds of comic strip pages for the magazine Judy and spin-off compilations, focusing on the humour, attitudes, urbanity and poverty of the types of people she knew. Her characters’ appearance, the ways in which they shape and move themselves in her visual world, and the technically maverick style in which they were drawn, provide a range of subtle and forthright commentaries on the historic dress and behaviour of her working-class London contemporaries, in particularly women of a range of ages, occupations and financial and social situations within this immediate milieu. First, the paper will consider the extent to which the facture of Duval’s drawings articulates relationships between constraint and liberation, in the ways in which she depicts women’s dress, utilising tracing techniques and briccolage, combined with a technically untutored style of drawing. She both cues readers to comedy (emerging as dissonance in her cutting and re-inscribing of contemporaneous fashion illustrations), and depicts embodied social discourse in the form of practices (as contemporaneous truths, in her deft manipulation of misrecognition), themselves generating a system of ideas, and creating a cognitive consensus connecting particular ideas with the behaviour of specific social groups. Second, the paper will consider Duval’s use of body distortion, accumulation, diminution and exaggeration, in which her depictive techniques present women’s dress not as a produced subject but as praxis. It will examine the complex parodic relationships that she creates between readers’ cultural knowledge of action on the contemporaneous theatre stage, in the practices of stage melodrama, and her depictions of women moving through her drawn plots in ‘old fashioned’ bonnets; of their noses; of the significant, ever-changing silhouettes of the carapaces of their chin-to-ankle dresses and of their feet, for example. Parallels will be identified between these Victorian ‘innovations’ and their continued use in twenty-first century ‘current’ and neo-Victorian’visual comedy. Finally, the paper will focus on the plots of Duval’s cartoons, identifying the general anonymity of Duval’s women characters relative to the developing visual identity of a single woman character who appears throughout: Judy herself, the muse and mistress of the magazine. It will present a close reading of a single frontispiece drawing of Judy from 1884, in which Judy rides an ostrich, in order to extrapolate a description of Duval’s cartoons of contemporaneous women that brings together facture, iconography and social milieu in order to understand both the unique processes of her comedy and her ability to depict the truth.
    • Detours and Dislocations - Liverpool /Isle of Man / Vancouver: In the Footsteps of Malcolm Lowry

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, 2019-07-07)
      An exhibition of artworks by Cian Quayle at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, July 7 - August 26, 2018. The installation included a neon artwork/text, a 1/50 scale model, photographs, a lightbox mounted transparency, single channel video, loaned artworks (Chris John Symes and George Cuitt), hand-made photographs from glass plate negatives and an automated 35 mm carousel, slide-projection. The research triangulates, Wirral born author of Under the Volcano (1947), Malcolm Lowry's relationship with Liverpool, the Isle of Man and Vancouver as the basis of a psychogeographic encounter with places and sites of habitation, which held significance for Lowry's life and writing. The exhibition formed part of IB 18 (Independents Biennial) and was exhibited in conjunction with 'Tom Wood: Cammell Laird Shipyard 1993 - 1996'.
    • 'Dispossession': time, motion and depictive regimes.

      Grennan, Simon; Miers, John; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Leuven University Press, 2015-05-01)
      A chapter in the edited collection "Transforming Anthony Trollope: 'Dispossession', Victorianism and 19th-century word and image."
    • Dispossession: A Novel of Few Words

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Jonathan Cape (Vintage), 2015-09-01)
      A scholarly remediation of one of the later novels of Anthony Trollope.
    • Dispossession: Storyboard, Anaphora, Rhythm and Stage in a New Graphic Adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s 1878-79 Novel 'John Caldigate'.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (International Association of Word and Image Studies Conference, Dundee., 2014-03-01)
      IAWIS/AIERTI Conference Dundee 2014 Session Proposal: Dr Simon Grennan, University of Chester (simon.grennan@zen.co.uk) Individual Papers Panel Session Theme: Visual Literacies / Literary Visualities (in the Digital Age) Session Title: ‘Graphic adaptation and historic literary fiction: re/vision, remediation and discovery.’ Although comic strip adaptations of historic literary fiction are commonplace, in the great majority they have been historically motivated either by pedagogy or by hagiography. The pedagogic approach assumes that narrative drawing is more accessible to children than text. The hagiographic approach assumes that the source text is an original to which adaptations must aspire by overcoming the limits imposed by their own media Increasingly, a number of comic strip adaptations of historic fiction have appeared to interrogate the process of adaptation from literary text to narrative drawing itself, turning the adaptation process into a method of enquiry into some of the central issues of both remediation, narrative drawing and historiography: the relationships between specific texts and new images and concepts of authenticity, record and narrative voice relative to history. Such approaches to the adaptation of historic novels make visible the ways in which the process of adaptation itself engenders a fuller understanding of historic texts and their production. Frequently, they visibly manipulate the reading experience through techniques of juxtaposition, anachronism and visual revision, prompting reflections upon the impact of diverse media on the practice of history, for example: Marcel Broodthaers 1969 ‘Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hansard’, Dino Battaglia’s adaptations of Maupassant stories and Catherine Anyango’s 2010 ‘Heart of Darkness’. This session will aim to focus in detail upon a) both the technical processes of adaptation, or the ways in which new technologies inform the development of approaches to historic texts, and b) upon the conceptual strategies and rationales of adaptors. As a related topic, it will also hope to discuss current trends in the understanding of the roles of contemporaneous illustration in historic literary fiction. The session’s central questions and consequent call for papers will focus upon i) comic strip adaptation’s rationalisation of visual equivalents for literary narrative voices, ii) upon the influence of moving image conventions on storyboards, points of view, pace and information management and iii) upon conceptions of time revealed in contemporary adaptations of nineteenth century novels in particular. Confirmed individual presenters: Professor Jan Baetens (KU Leuven) Dr Simon Grennan (Chester University) Frederik Van Dam (KU Leuven) Expressions of interest in the call for individual session papers has been made by: Emeritus Professor David Skilton (Cardiff University) Peter Wilkins (Douglas College, Vancouver) Dr Ian Hague (Comics Forum) A further call for individual session papers will be made.
    • ‘Dispossession’: uses of encumbrance and constraint in visualising Trollope’s style, in a new graphic adaptation of his 1878-79 novel ‘John Caldigate'.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (KU Leuven, 2015-09-01)
      This paper will discuss my adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s John Caldigate (1878-79) as a new graphic novel, Dispossession and its French edition Courir deux lièvres. Trollope’s writing style formalises his approach to plot, succinctly tying style to genre. In the plot of John Caldigate, the narrator both consistently avoids making definitive statements about events and character traits and avoids presenting a definitive opinion. Although Trollope eschews visual description, the continual, rhythmic presentation of one opinion after another brings about a distinctive and relatively complex spaciotopia, in which the reader feels positioned relative to the diegesis. In retinoscopic terms, this could be described simply as a spaciotopia produced by continually repeating a limited number of changes in point of view. From an analysis of Trollope’s writing style emerges the question of style in the drawn adaptation, answers to which finalise the governing constraints of its drawing style: how does Dispossession employ and/or depict equivocation in the style of its facture, distinct from the depiction of the plot? More simply, the changes made to Trollope’s plot in the adaptation emerged according to principles extrapolated from the habits of contemporary readers. The paper will explore how important plot elements or absences, significant for Trollope’s readers in the 1870s, required alteration or transformation, in order to maintain or heighten the meaning of the plot for 21st century readers: the elision of characters, changes to names, the legal process of restitution after miscarriages of justice, the significance of a straw hat and, most visibly, the presentation of new aboriginal Australian characters and the use of the Wiradjuri language. Citing both positive and critical media reviews of Courir deux lièvres from earlier this year, the paper will finally suggest that these approaches to word/image adaptation in the context of markets for graphic novels in English and French negotiate existing terrain for understanding Trollope, by bringing new habits of reading to an experience of his work and to ideas of the nineteenth century.