Workplace Foundation is pleased to present Companion, the first in an ongoing series of exhibitions inviting curators to look at Workplace Foundation’s continued relationships with artists.
Companion explores ways of capturing how artists describe their work and the connections made when works sit in companionship with one another. The exhibition is curated by Newcastle-based Curator and Researcher Gayle Meikle.
An integral component of the exhibition is the Audio Guide, an aural companion to the artworks. The artists were invited to think about what type of audio they would like as a companion to their work. Meikle recorded the artists in different ways. Tayo Adekunle had a conversation with Meikle over voice note on WhatsApp, and Catherine Bertola spoke with Meikle in a sound studio at Newcastle University. Contrastingly, for Claire Dorsett’s work, the pair opted to recruit a voice actor, Zoë Hakin, to vocally perform an unpublished text about Dorsett’s practice written by mentor and artist Bruce McLean. Dorsett’s audio acts as a disruption mimicking the Shakespearean meaning of companion as ‘rascal’.
- Tayo Adekunle describes the source of inspiration for the Artefact Series alongside how she uses her artworks to retell left-out histories and stories.
2. Catherine Bertola and Meikle discuss the wall drawing Filling Absence in the context of visibility for women and Bertola’s engagement with overlooked materials to reanimate forgotten histories.
3. Voice actor Zoë Hakin performs Untitled by Bruce McLean, a pithy burst of words enacting Claire Dorsett’s approach to her practice, wrought with anxiety, humour and quiet observation of everyday things and events.
4. Adekunle discusses Reclamation of the Exposition in the context of unlearning the Western Gaze of black people whilst finding joy and power from difficult historical events.
5. Bertola and Meikle explore the series Sad Bones concerning Bertola’s deeper interest in archives and historical sites and her gestural intervention into the narratives that are preserved.
Meikle’s style of interpretation echoes Audio Arts, a sound art magazine documenting contemporary art from 1973 – 2007.
Voice actor Zoë Hakin performs Untitled written by Bruce McLean, 2019.
Music producer Lisa Murphy has mixed the audio.
Newcastle University supported the creation of the audio guide.