In the shadows of heaven. Artist’s residency at Theatre Royal Margate, with commissioned video work and exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate
I was short-listed and subsequently commissioned by Turner Contemporary to undertake an artist’s residency at Theatre Royal Margate, as part of an initiative called Unearth. Turner Contemporary is an arts organisation based in Margate, Kent, which exhibits and works with national and international artists, supported by Kent County Council, Thanet District Council, SEEDA, Arts Council England and the European Union. My research involved a filmic study of the architectural spaces and fabric of the theatre, drawing on Frances Yates’ scholarly research into the history of theatre and Elizabethan occult philosophy. I discovered links between the circular, plaster-work motif in the auditorium ceiling, renaissance theatres and antique Roman amphitheatres, and re-imagined the theatre as a circular and concentric constellation of spaces. I developed and constructed equipment allowing a video camera to move in slow controlled circles, systematically recording the central and peripheral spaces of the theatre. The resulting 45 minute silent video takes a slow orbiting journey around a series of evocative and intensely interior spaces. The video was installed in the semi-circular exhibition space in the Turner Centre’s Droit House. Steven Connor (Professor of Modern Literature, Birkbeck College, Director of the London Consortium Masters and Doctoral Programme) was commissioned to write an essay discussing my work, published in a leaflet accompanying the exhibition and on www.bbk.ac.uk/english/skc/mosscrop/. In the essay Circumlocation: Waves, Wheels, Worlds he described the work as “an elaborate orrery” or “a spectral engine”, “as though the theatre were being given a gaze with which to observe itself”. Project funded by Turner Contemporary, Arts Council England, Kent county Council, Thanet District Council (£3,700 artist’s fee) I delivered a public lecture exploring the work in the series: 'Art, Artist, Audience', at Turner Contemporary, a lecture to local teachers, and a Workshop with art students from Thanet College.
Citation : MOSSCROP, M.L. 23 October - 18 December 2004. In the Shadows of Heaven. Margate: Turner Contemporary.
Research Group : Fine Art Practices
- School of Arts