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Artist Influences and Research Studio 4

Artist Talk: Arianne Churchman

Churchman’s enthusiasms include that of British Folk Law and traditions. Folk law and contemporary art practices have like domains in the eyes of Churchman, bringing about a strange and temporal mess. This leads her to find the strange and wonky things of daily life to bring into the artwork. A very visual and residual culture is built through an affective drive and finding this within folk law, and the question of how to bring it back to the art.

Working in performances, there is a connection through likeness. Video and sound works also come into play with a time nased technique. Churchman thinks through magic and ritual domains rather than logical ones. This causes the layering of lots of things that don’t particularly make sense or fit well together. One example spoken about is how in midsummer, you stand on church steps, churches are supposedly on leylines and this means there is a hotline for the spirits.

Through the performance work, Churchman sets out a space through the language. When making a work, she considers the time of year and what is happening and where, for this affects the folk law that is used. Exhibition spaces are turned into portal or spell-like areas. The rituals performed call for a certain amount of collectivity and are presented with ‘we’, adding spirits.

A strong narrative structure is seen throughout Churchman’s work, extending the fiction of the folk law and the space of an unknowing and shifting manner. Magic exists as something else within the art practice of Arianne Churchman.

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