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Hacking Antiques

The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art
3rd March to 23rd April 2011
Private View: Wed 2nd March, 5pm – 7.30pm

Amy Houghton has been undertaking a ‘Slow’ 15 month residency at Plymouth College of Art since September 2009. Hacking Antiques has emerged as a result of research and exploration during this residency period.

Amy’s background in textiles continues to influence her practice, which currently features the use of animation and video installations to explore hidden and revealed histories and stories related to old objects. She explores how we use and read antique objects as stimuli for nostalgic longing, as indicators of our authenticity, as tools to search for origin, and as a connection to reality in the context of contemporary society.

The outcomes invariably involve pseudo forensic and archaeological processes to examine and reanimate the objects she works with, through stop frame and video animation. Amy creates work that explores the relationship of time and the haptic through the animated dissection of objects and/or animated photographs and paintings.

String objects from Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery have taken Amy on an unexpected journey involving literally unravelling the ‘truth’ about Female explorer Gertrude Benham. Through investigating Gertrude’s journey, Amy’s own has led her through the exploration of craftsmanship and related stories and to the discovery of some unpredictable connections of invention and mechanical developments. She expresses this journey in the series of animation installations, which are grouped with the title Connecting with Gertrude. Visitors are invited to participate in – or contribute to – the function of the work. Through this active involvement it is possible to discover relationships and connections with the objects contained in the work, thereby exploring the making and unmaking process relative to the time and space of the components presented in three forms: firstly, as original artefacts; secondly, in the animated examination; and thirdly, in the time and space of the exhibition itself.

Until the 9th of April, Amy’s exhibition will coincide with Craftspaces’s touring group exhibition Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution being shown at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, which will also feature Amy’s work.

Read Dr. Harriet Hawkins’s exhibition text.