Hannah Perry GUSH
Featuring large-scale dynamic sound sculpture, film and wall-based works and a specially commissioned performance, GUSH is a candid and personal exploration of mental and emotional health in our contemporary, hyper-networked society by British artist Hannah Perry in her first major solo exhibition in the UK outside London.
Central to the exhibition is an immersive 360° film experienced through a Virtual Reality headset* whilst the viewer is seated on a foam bed sculpture. The film surrounds viewers with the contorted, continuously shifting movement of bodies. With a soundtrack combining spoken word, an instrumental score written in collaboration with composers Mica Levy and Coby Sey, and the London Contemporary Orchestra, the film reflects on the altered states of the self, including the impact trauma and grief can have on our physical and mental states. In an intensely personal yet universal exploration of the experience of romance, psychosis and loss, the work marks the first time Perry has chosen to address the tragic, recent suicide of her best friend and collaborator.
Other works in the exhibition extend Perry’s interest in car modification, including a pulsating large-scale audio sculpture – which is reimagined to occupy Towner’s expansive gallery spaces – incorporating stretched car body wrap and subwoofer speakers, enabling sound frequencies to create distorted patterns upon the mirrored surface of the sculpture, altering the viewer’s reflected self and surroundings. In new wall-based pieces, Perry combines her distinctive silk screen printing technique with digital photographs, car lacquer and painting.
On Saturday 10 November, for the launch of the exhibition, Towner presented a newly commissioned performance, devised and choreographed by Hannah Perry. Working with London Contemporary Orchestra and music producer Coby Sey, four dancers explore the body’s endurance capabilities, struggles, rhythms and repetitions.
Hannah Perry GUSH is conceived by Somerset House, in partnership with Towner Art Gallery.
*The film explores adult themes and includes some scenes of partial nudity. We would suggest a minimum age of 16. Parental/Carer discretion is advised. For support relating to the themes of the film please visit samaritans.org; mind.org.uk or uksobs.org
Image: Rage Fluids (Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz, 2018) © Markus Krottendorfer