Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan 

Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan have worked collaboratively since 1995 making images, sculptural objects and installations that pose questions as to how we understand art. Their work might more usefully be understood as events designed to inhabit a range of situations, activating their surroundings and cajoling the viewer into participating in an absurd kind of theatre

‘The Reiterative Grimace’ is a new work made specifically for the Northern Art Prize.  It brings together two painted temporary structures framing the entrances to two interior galleries, one a home to part of the Leeds collection of 19th century Art, the other an entrance to the temporary exhibition spaces. These large painted  ‘portals’ highlight pivotal points at which the historic collection meets spaces in the Gallery used for temporary exhibitions.

Framed black and white photographs of previous projects in the various stages of production, document situations in which prior projects have occurred. These appear to give insight into the artists’ work processes, which are often strongly influenced by the place where the work is sited, but are equally about the narrative and imaginative possibilities of the image. ‘The Reiterative Grimace’ works against convention in bringing together these two quite different systems of art making – the site-specific portals and the framed photographs – within a single artwork.

Artist Talk: Tuesday 30 April, 6pm Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan will be in conversation with their nominators Gavin Wade (Director, Eastside Projects) and Kirsteen Macdonald (Curator, Glasgow). Tickets are £5 (£3 concessions) on the door. Reservations can be make at Leeds Art Gallery on 0113 247 8256

Biography: Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan met while studying for their MFA at Glasgow School of Art. They are also alumni of the University of Leeds, School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, where Joanne graduated with a practice based PhD in 2004. They now live and work in Newcastle.  They have previously exhibited at Tramway, Glasgow; Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich, Studio Voltaire, London and most recently, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff.

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