Blue Monkey Network: Out of Hours – Dineo Seshee Bopape Sedibeng, it comes with the rain and Phoebe Unwin Iris

An exclusive Blue Monkey Network out of hours viewing of Dineo Seshee Bopape’s Sedibeng, it comes with the rain and Phoebe Unwin’s Iris.

Born and based in South Africa, Dineo Seshee Bopape addresses politics, race, spirituality, gender and sexuality in her ambitious largescale installations which are created using sound, found objects and moving image.

Sedibeng, it comes with the rain is an immersive installation set in an environment of reflecting and refracting light, on a floor strewn with feathers, metal abstractions, letter charms, bags of healing herbs, images of ripe fruits and flowers native to Africa. The work explores notions of fertility, land, resistance, Afro-diasporic spiritual aesthetics and practices. Bopape has exhibited work across the globe, including at the 10th Berlin Biennale and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. This will be the artist’s first major solo presentation in England.

Phoebe Unwin’s Iris takes its name from the artist’s late maternal grandmother and reflects on ideas surrounding how the iris works, moving from the intimate and unspoken to the communal, stretching to different times, reflective of the nature of painting itself. Unwin’s paintings are rooted in personal experience, with each becoming a distinct exploration in the physical and emotive aspects of looking. For instance, the relationship one’s body has with the perception of a subject: a speedy profile, of swimming, an egg being boiled or the mind’s eye perspective of a room from above. A wide spectrum of colour, in oil and acrylic paint is used across the works that will be exhibited: varying translucencies and palette ranges trigger the different kinds of associations familiar subjects might provoke. The paintings take the experience of the self to be something ever changeable, in scale and psychological presence.

Our Out of Hours event this month will be led by Stephanie Sutton. Steph is working with Judith to develop Blue Monkey Network’s future events programme and will take over as Network Organiser in 2020. Steph will lead an informal tour of these two exciting exhibitions and will present a personal response to the works on show.

Steph is a freelance curator and researcher, working across art, design and architecture. She has worked professionally within the visual arts for over 12 years, specialising in archives, curating, public programming and research, working with organisations including The Wellcome Collection, RIBA, Camden Arts Centre, V&A Museum of Childhood and Tate Library and Archive. She is currently working on a EPSRC funded research project ‘Playing the Archive’ – an ambitious programme of research and cultural production led by UCL Institute of Education and The University of Sheffield – exploring the nature of play by bringing together archives, spaces and technologies of play. In addition, Stephanie has worked with contemporary artist Steven Claydon over the past five years, overseeing studio and project management, coordinating large-scale exhibitions, from production to installation.

Stephanie graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in History of Design in 2014 and holds a BA in Fine Art and Visual Culture from UWE Bristol (2008). Her academic research has focused on post-war architecture, urban history and the material culture of childhood.

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