Arts Lab Experimental visual arts for social change

Replacing academia with hands-on creativity

Arts Lab’s summer & autumn 2019 ‘experimenter’ Alice Clough has recently hosted a pop-up exhibition and Q&A at Arts Lab – Word-Body. This was an outcome of a conscious departure from academia towards immersive, experimental creative practice. Alice’s background in archaeology and anthropology has informed her practice as maker and installation artist. Her work explores how materials and objects become entangled with social and cultural events, with an interest in articulating origin stories and excavating meaning.

The Word-Body event was well attended with content and conversation that could easily have filled a weekend. Says Alice: ‘I was able to engage with the public by offering hands on activities using clay, text, and mark-making, as well as an informal talk and discussion. Visitors seemed to connect strongly with the talk, and we had an animated and thoughtful discussion around themes of connection/disconnection, education, order, feminism, and the sensing body inhabiting an animate world. Following the discussion there was time for large-scale mark making in response to one of the installations; the installation itself was very pristine and controlled, and provoked some very messy, free and black expressions alongside others that were repetitive, precise or almost mathematical. One visitor commented on how grateful they were for the permission to simply play with the materials available.’

To learn more about Alice’s residency with images, go to the Archive.

(Photo by Matt Austin)