I've written a little piece for the Ian Potter website about how my experiences in Paris have been shaping my current body of work. You can read it below, or on the Ian Potter Cultural Trust blog.
In mid-2015 I was awarded an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, which enabled me to undertake the National Art School residency in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts.
My original plans for the residency centered on researching the Catacombs in Paris. What struck me upon my first visit to these graves was the multitude and anonymity of the dead. Piles of bones filled endless tunnels beneath the city, provoking in me a strong visceral response of claustrophobia. The Cultural Trust grant also allowed me to make a trip to visit the Roman Catacombs. Unlike their Parisian counterparts, the human remains of these catacombs had all been removed, leaving only dug out hollows in the walls. I was interested in the way these catacombs held only the imprint of the body, and after my visit to Rome I became more interested in the residue individual human lives leave upon the world.
I also became fascinated by the Marche aux Puces, or Flea Markets of Paris. These markets housed remarkable quantities of detritus from anonymous lives. I spent most weekends rummaging through boxes of photographs, letters, documents and fabric. The flea markets echoed my experiences of the catacombs, where fragments of human lives were revealed in overwhelming quantities. I was also struck by the anonymous yet intimate nature of many of the items.
I found the lace and fabric I sourced at the markets particularly interesting as they alluded to female labour, work that has historically been relegated to ‘craft’ status. This interest led to my visiting the Library of Decorative Arts in Paris and the Calais Lace Museum. In both these venues I was struck by the meticulous and detailed nature of handmade lace, the beautiful outcomes of time-consuming labour by female artisans who were often not credited for their work.
The residency was a wonderfully invigorating experience to have as an emerging artist. Paris itself is a vibrant and energetic international city, filled to the brim with museums, public art, commercial galleries and artist run spaces. The time to invest in my own artistic practice away from the distractions of work and daily life was an incredible privilege. The city provided me with inspiration to develop a new body of work and push my practice in unfamiliar directions. I was able to conclude my residency with an Open Studio exhibition, Ephemere, where I exhibited collages, embroideries and found objects. Moreover, time spent networking with other artists during open studios and artist critique sessions resulted in a level of insight into my own practice that is still driving my work forward, months later.
My upcoming solo exhibition, Diaspora, has been made possible by my residency in Paris which I was only able to undertake with the assistance of Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant. My new work incorporates lace patterns from the Library of Decorative Arts with many of the textiles and photos I collected from the flea markets around Paris. Numerous volunteers have collaborated with me in creating the works, echoing the processes of many of the female artisans who originally worked from these patterns. The resulting pieces are simultaneously intimate and anonymous, a pastiche of intertwined lives and stories which traverse geographic and historical boundaries.
Upcoming Solo Exhibition at MOP Projects
29 June - 24 July 2016
Opening 6pm Wednesday 29 June
Yang-En Hume has developed a new body of work based on her recent residency at La Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris. Diaspora is the result of many weeks spent collecting photos, lace, embroideries and letters from the flea markets around Paris. Combined with embroidery and lace patterns sourced from the Paris Library of Decorative Arts and the Calais Lace Museum, these objects prompt the audience to imagine the lives they once inhabited. Numerous volunteers collaborated with Hume to create these works, echoing the processes of many of the original female artisans who worked from these patterns. The resulting pieces are simultaneously intimate and anonymous, a pastiche of intertwined lives and stories that traverse geographic and historical boundaries.
Hume is a Sydney based artist who uses installation, found materials and mixed media to explore ideas relating to alienation, the dismembered human body, social hierarchies and identity. Her work often explores the history of women’s creativity and features elements such as the miniature, the amateur and the domestic, drawing attention to qualities that have historically relegated female work to craft status.
Hume graduated with honours (Dux) from the National Art School in 2013 and has exhibited in both solo and group shows in Sydney. In 2015 she was a recipient of the National Art School Storrier Onslow Paris Residency, which she undertook with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts Art Start grant, and an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant.
Paris is beautiful, captivating, inspiring and overwhelming. There is so much to see and do, so much art to be inspired by, so much art I want to make while I'm here, and so many other artists to meet and learn from. I have far too little time to do all I hope to, and am already feeling the constant pressure between studio time, meeting other artists, and seeing the city. Two days into my time here I realised I really need a twelve month residency here!
You can follow my progress via my Instagram page.
In two weeks I will be leaving Sydney to embark on a thirteen-week-artistic-adventure, covering trips to Singapore, Paris, Venice and Rome! As a recipient of the National Art School Paris Residency, I will be spending a large portion of my time overseas participating in a residency at the Cite in Paris. This opportunity will allow me to continue my explorations into the fragmented body with visits to the catacombs in Paris and Rome. This trip will also see me attending the Venice Biennale for the first time!
I am very fortunate and thankful to have received support from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, and the Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart Grant, whose assistance will enable me to fund this trip.
My latest exhibition 'Chamber' will be exhibited at Airspace Projects in Marrickville.
Opening Night: Friday 5th June 6-8pm
Exhibition: 5th June - 20th June
10 Junction St, Marrickville NSW
For more info see the Airpspace Projects Website.
Hope to see you there!
Here are some images of the work in progress:
Some of my watercolour Petite Monsters will be featuring in the upcoming Blacktown Art Prize in Sydney and the M16 Artspace Drawing Prize in Canberra.
My latest exhibition consists of a collaborative installation created by myself and artists Juliette Furio, Veronica Habib and Thomas Quayle. We've been working on it for the last 4 months, so we're pretty excited to see it come together.
Hope you can make it!