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Nicola Dale

Residency Artist 2017


Residency dates (15 May - 23 June 2017)

Nicola Dale is a Manchester based artist who makes sculptures and performances. Her works chart human interaction with knowledge, from archaic notions of ‘illumination’ and Modernist belief in progress, towards the narcotic lure of contemporary ‘click-drift’ and back again. Her work concerns the impact of ideology on reading, writing and learning, through the vulnerable, transient forms she makes using diverse materials such as xrays, ice cubes, waxed thread, leatherette and photography.

At her public event, Nicola presented new work arising from her research into art historian Aby Warburg’s photographic collection at The Warburg Institute. Nicola selected and abbreviated 89 images and translated them into an eight-metre wall drawing, which she in turn used as a choreographic score for working with contemporary dancer Chloe Aliyanni.

Nicola’s wall drawing isolated diagrammatic fragments from the photographs, such as a tail, a fool’s ear, a poised hand or a grimace. By inviting a dancer to take this abbreviation-relay a stage further, through movement-based interpretations, Nicola’s interdisciplinary game of Chinese Whispers both refined the image to its gestural essence and further obscures its original intent.

As an artist who is primarily known for live and project-based commissions, Nicola requested feedback from curators about how she might position her documentation for a gallery context and site specific commissions, and met with curators from public and archival galleries to discuss her work.

Studio visits
Alys Williams – Director, Vitrine
Gareth Bell Jones – Curator, Flat Time House
Isabella Maidment – Live Programme Curator, Tate Modern
Sophie Leighton & Lizzie Glendinning – Curators, Freud Museum
Jefford Horrigan - artist

Informal studio/offsite visits
Vivien Lovell – Director, Modus Operandi