Elaine Shemilt PPSSA

Email: e.shemilt@dundee.ac.uk

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Elaine Shemilt & Stephen Partridge Chimera Installation simulated

Elaine Shemilt Tension Installation 1995

Elaine Shemilt Icarus painting 1996

Elaine Shemilt EastWest Installation 1996

Elaine Shemilt & Stephen Partridge Chimera


This work is the first manifestation of a collaborative programme initiated in 1997 between the two artists, bringing together experience and ideas from still and moving image-making. Context Within a sexually differentiating society all our experiences are shaped to a greater or lesser extent by socially determined gender positions. The body of a woman is colonised, appropriated, mystified, defined by male fantasy, but for an audience of women the same body can represent fertility, childbearing, or sexuality. This piece explores these representations as a differentiation from sexist usage. By exposing the patriarchal assumptions embedded within what we so often take for granted as normal or obvious, other ways of seeing and feeling are liberated. This work which reflects attitudes through certain acts and imagery also recognises a level of gratuitous nudity . There is the question of where this transgresses an unwritten code of what a reasonable person might take to be decent? There are elements in this installation which have definite and clear connotations within distinct cultural references. There are particular codes to produce meanings but the aim of this installation is to create new meanings. The traditional, coherent systems of meaning are broken and re-articulated. The use of language is intended as a further deconstruction of the current order of meaning so as to make a space for questions about an adult person's actual social, biological, or psychological experience. Description The four channels of video each project two images upon the latex screens. The images are close-ups of part of a female body - not necessarily immediately recognisable as such and moving slowly. They have a ghostly ethereal atmosphere and quality. A multi-track soundtrack whispers a series of dreams quite unlike stories told by a concious mind. Images that seem contradictory crowd in and common-place things assume a fascinating or threatening aspect. Technical Description A four channel installation for four video projections onto suspended latex screens with stereo sound. Equipment requirements: Four VCRs Four video projectors capable of 1.5 x 3 metre sized projection either LCD or tube type Stereo Sound Amplifier and four speakers Nylon rope to suspend screens The installation is easily transportable, consisting of the boxed sheets of latex, 4 videotapes and a diagram for installation - including projection distances and technical specification. Any venue with some experience of video projection should find the installation reasonably straightforward.


Elaine Shemilt's work ranges across a wide variety of media - from printmaking to installation. The work has often centred on the body. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art was in the Hayward Annual in 1979. She has exhibited internationally including Switzerland, Denmark Amsterdam and Germany. In 1997 her exhibition Behind Appearance toured across the midwest of the USA. She is currently Senior Lecturer in charge of the Printmaking Dept of the School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Scotland.

Stephen Partridge Stephen Partridge is a media artist and producer. He has been working creatively with videotape since 1974. He was in the 'landmark' shows of the 1970s including the Video Show at the Serpentine in 1975, the Installation Show at the Tate gallery in 1976, The Paris Biennalle in 1977 and the The Kitchen in New York in 1979. During the eighties he exhibited widely and became interested in works for broadcast television and was commissioned by Channel 4 television to produce Dialogue for Two Players in 1984. With Jane Rigby, he formed Fields and Frames - an arts projects and television production company - which produced the innovative Television Interventions project for Channel 4 in 1990, with nineteen works by artists for television including his own work The Sounds of These Words . He co-produced a short series of student and artists work entitled Not Necessarily with BBC Scotland for BBC2 network television in 1991. He has also curated a number of influential video shows: Video Art 78 ; UK TV ; National Review of Live Art (Video Programme) from 1988-90; 19:4:90 Television Interventions ; and the touring tape packages - Made in Scotland I, II, Semblances , and Passages. He has lectured for twenty years in a number of art colleges, and is presently Professor of Media Art and Head of School at one of Europe's leading colleges for digital media, video and animation - the School of Television and Imaging, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, University of Dundee, Scotland.

© 1998 Elaine Shemilt & Stephen Partridge