NPA Lab | 2021

 

Breathe

 

Frances Willoughby

Frances Willoughby is a British multidisciplinary artist based in Bristol. She predominately works with sculpture and collage using a mixture of found objects and images. Her work explores themes such as memory, nostalgia and the uncanny. Frances holds a BA (hons) in Fine Art from Arts University Bournemouth. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including the Mall Galleries and the Royal West of England Academy. 

Svetlana Ochkovskaya

Svetlana Ochkovskaya currently lives and works in Portsmouth, UK. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Southampton Solent University (2017) and an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University of London (2020). Svetlana has won a number of bursaries and awards including the Lucky Dip 2021 bursary scheme by ‘a space’ arts; theZealous Stories Sculpture 2021; and the Sunny Art Prize Award 2020. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions include out I side I in, The Smallest Gallery in Soho, and We Are Not Ourselves, The Stone Space, and Jeannie Avent Gallery, London. 

 

Willoughby & Ochkovskaya

‘Breathe (2022)

Video

‘Breathe (2022) is a moving image piece which uses anamorphic images to explore the anonymous loss produced by the pandemic. The inanimate lungs become momentarily human, the semi opaque faces drift over them capturing a sense of fragility and quiet unease. The piece is a collaboration between Frances Willoughby and Svetlana Ochkovskaya in which the artists have reframed and combined existing works: Untitled (Willoughby, 2019) and ‘Let It Breathe (Ochkovskaya, 2022).

 

Image still from a video of two lung sculptures with a dark background, semi-opaque portrait photographs overlay the lungs.

Willoughby & Ochkovskaya

‘Breathe (2022)

[Video still]

Untitled(2019) is a collage series containing found photographs created by Willoughby. Strangers represent faded memories, an anonymous snapshot into another reality. After spending several years carefully cataloguing her own family photographs, she became increasingly interested in collecting photographs with which she has no connection. Undefined and malleable; with their past unknown, they allow new narratives to be woven. These images have become an inexplicit memorial, conveying a sense of fragmentation and loss. 

 

Image still from a video of two lung sculptures with a dark background, semi-opaque portrait photographs overlay the lungs.

Willoughby & Ochkovskaya

‘Breathe (2022)

[Video still] 

‘Let It Breathe’ is an installation by Ochkovskaya presented in The Hidden Wardrobe, Southampton. Ochkovskaya explains: “Our lungs are two organs inside our chest filling with air as we breathe in. However, the most important function of the lungs is to carry movements of mind, speech, and body. Referring to personal experience of lung surgeries during the lockdowns – when the illness had painstakingly shifted my life – this display meditates on a chance as a conductor that orchestrates our encounter of the world. “Where the lung is like a horse, and the mind is the rider if there is something wrong with the horse the rider will not be able to ride properly”

 

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