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.
Companion will include recent works by Tayo Adekunle, Catherine Bertola and Claire Dorsett spanning photography, painting and installation. Sonic elements throughout the exhibition will share conversations and experiences held between each artist and Meikle on how they describe and view their works. The audio conversations or sounds will act as a companion for the works in the exhibition, shifting the focus from a purely visual experience to a more aural and embodied interaction with the works.
The title of the exhibition draws on ideas of association between artists, the companionship of showing in the same space and the associations the audience draw when encountering a display of art.
Tayo Adekunle is a British Nigerian photographer, from Yorkshire based in London. Working predominantly with self-portraiture, she explores issues of race gender and sexuality whilst investigating racial and colonial history. Recent exhibitions include Tales from an Absent Truth, Studio Chapple, London (solo), Un/sense, Christie’s, London, Tayo Adekunle, Workplace Foundation, Online, Mis(sing) Information, Perth Gallery and Museum, Perth, COUP DE FOUDRE, Insurgency Gallery and Five Years, Online; and Hysterical, no format Gallery, London. She completed her BA (Hons) in Photography at Edinburgh College of Art in 2020. She has completed a mirco-residency with Hospitalfield, Arbroath, has work in the University of Edinburgh Art Collection and has been featured in publications including the British Journal of Photography and No! Wahala Magazine.
Catherine Bertola is an artist working across installation, sculpture, drawing and film, giving voice to untold narratives, often drawing on the overlooked and undervalued role of women in society, the home, craft production and labour. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including Leeds Museum and Galleries, Leeds; V&A Museum, London; M+R Fricke, Berlin; and Museum of Art and Design, New York. She received her BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University in 1999 and lives and works in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Claire Dorsett works in painting and takes inspiration from notes and casual, seemingly insignificant things. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include Fayre Share Fayre, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Food for Thought, Oceans Apart, Salford; Claire Dorsett, Workplace Foundation, Gateshead; FRONT, STOCK Gallery, Manchester; and Dark Matter, Workplace Foundation, Newcastle. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting at The University of Brighton in 2007 and from MFA Painting at The Slade School of Fine Art in 2010. She lives and works in Merseyside and Manchester.
Gayle Meikle is a Curator, Researcher and Lecturer. Her curatorial practice creates discursive and experimental spaces for presenting art driven by the enquiry of two questions: 'What happens when we make art public?' and, 'What is the curatorial role in this encounter?’. She has an ongoing collaborative practice with Alexandra Ross (‘A Polyphonic Essay on…') and Harriet Sutcliffe (‘Undutiful Spirit’) and has recently published 'The Commonplace Book of ATLAS' with Emma Nicolson (2021). Increasingly, archives and collections have become an essential aspect of her work, recently working with the European Women's Video Art Archive (2017), Cinenova (2019) and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Archive (2022).
In early 2021 she was awarded a PhD from the BxNU Institute, Northumbria University. Since 2019 she has worked for Newcastle University and currently teaches Contemporary Art Curation in the School of Arts and Culture.