01 June 2012

Art I like - Joy Gregory

Encountered at London Art Fair, January 2012
Joy Gregory often uses traditional processes for her photographs - these handbags are salt prints; she also uses cyanotypes and kallitypes.

Of the handbag series, this site says:
"Developed during a residency in Johannesburg in 1998, 'Handbag Project' focuses on a collection of bags and purses purchased from charity shops around the city. Shown as part of the exhibition Accessory, held at Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham in 2005, the works utilise the power that objects carry when they are contextualised by certain associations. ... these exquisite and seemingly innocent objects take on a deeper and more disturbing significance when we learn that they were found by the artist in Johannesburg charity shops and had belonged to wealthy white South African women during the apartheid years.... These accessories represent a moment in time but are also a powerful symbol of femininity, they explore the representation of women and the lost stories and histories of the colonial world."

Her practice is concerned with social and political issues, with particular reference to history and cultural differences in contemporary society. Explorations of her Jamaican, Afro-Caribbean heritage underly her projects in different ways.
Cinderella has gone to London...
Her "Cinderella Tours Europe" project features a pair of golden shoes photographed in tourist destinations. It's a response to comments made by Jamaican women in interviews about their impossible dream holidays.

Among her many projects are work on marginalised and endangered languages.
an "object of beauty"
The "Objects of Beauty" series uses the old kallitype technique to print contemporary subjects onto thick paper, and apparently simple work with complex messages, raising questions about women's pursuit of changing ideals of beauty and the changing ideals we attach to the objects themselves.

Of "Sites of Africa", an ongoing project, she says: "Although the original intention was to make a reportage I found that the most pervasive element of London is the importance of the ‘document’. Sites of Africa is a photographic document of absent histories, the sites represented were once burgeoning with an African presence which as now disappeared and the sites are now associated with more recent histories."

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