Approaching the midway point of her Graduate Residency at AirSpace, Amy-Lou Matthews presents Threshold
which brings together recurring themes in Matthews' practice - the absurd, performance and illusion.
My practice uses image manipulation to create illusions within a photograph or video to foreground the notion of the absurd. I am finding that feature films are becoming more and more realistic, as technology advances, continually blurring the line between reality and fiction. It is this blur and crossover that I am currently exploring in my practice, specifically sound effects, the materials used to create them and the effect they have on associated imagery, and our relationship to them. In Threshold, I am looking to create a dialogue between the objects and a sense of kinetic energy that can transform into sound and remind one of a specific action or ambience.
Sound effects are crucial for a rich and immersive movie experience, helping the audience believe in the scene (world) that’s being presented to them at the very moment that it actually exists. However these effects are not necessarily the natural sounds that are being referred to. It is these manufactured sounds that I am currently explore within my practice - the use of man-made sounds to mimic organic ones. From natural elements of the wind, to running water from a river, to even those noises that you hope to never experience, the noises of tension and dread we associate with the horror movie.
- Amy Matthews, 2017
Housed in the window exhibiting space at AirSpace, Threshold consists of two photographic images, and a recurring audio track, each of which references the limits of human tolerance to pain.
Amy's performance-based practice centres around film, photography, choreography and staging, where acts of playful nature are used to explore the archetypes of identity. This experimentation has evolved into a fascination of the more absurd, by regularly depicting herself in the performance, and the explicit demonstration of how these tropes can be constructed. Amy graduated from Staffordshire University in July 2017.
Each year, AirSpace Gallery’s Graduate Residency Programme offers two new graduates a fantastic opportunity to be part of an exciting and innovative artist-led space in Stoke-on-Trent, providing 6 months free studio space, ongoing professional development support, mentoring and guidance in those crucial first months out of higher education, and an end-of-residency solo exhibition. Now into its 6th year, the residency programme is an attempt to tackle and highlight a problem with graduate retention in the city, whilst also offering early stage professional development support to artists.