Iniva has commissioned Philomena Francis to create an installation in treacle to occupy Rivington Place’s expansive front window which overlooks Rivington Street in Shoreditch, London. On show from 5 December 2007 – 5 January 2008, this is the first window commission at Rivington Place, which it is set to become an annual event.
The installation entitled mo’lasses III has been created using piped black treacle and continues Francis’ enquiry around the black female body, its contemporary representation and relationship to colonial history. Her work arouses questions about identity and in particular explores the complexity of viewing the black female body.
The popular term ‘brown sugar’ and its association with black female sexuality becomes a starting point for the artist to re-appropriate and re-situate the black body into another chosen context that engenders alternative readings.
Philomena Francis has also used sugar and treacle in her previous wall-based and installation works such as The Brown Sugar Series (2004) and mo’lasses I and II (2005/6). The behavioural and material qualities of the treacle and how it responds to its supporting structure or site, references a stream of associations and physical sensations that create an image that fluctuates between abstraction and figuration.
Francis was born in 1969 in London. She studied Fine Art Theory and Practice at Chelsea College of Art and Design and graduated in 2006 with a first class honours degree. She lives and works as an Artist and Art Therapist in London. An emerging talent, Francis’ work has been exhibited as part of group exhibition Neither fish nor flesh at the Space Gallery (London, UK) in 2003. The Brown Sugar Series was shown in 2004 at a solo exhibition at The Castle (Northampton, UK) and Francis was part of a conceptual group exhibition The Exchange at the Woburn Gallery (London, UK).
mo’lasses III is an Iniva commission for the Rivington Place window and will be available to view from the exterior of Rivington Place, Rivington Street from 5 December 2007 – 5 January 2008.
The front window, Rivington Place, London, EC2A 3BA
Nearest tubes: Old Street & Liverpool Street
Rivington Place is fully accessible in all public areas
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mo’lasses III is a new Iniva commission by Philomena Francis for the window of Rivington Place and is situated within the Barclays Project Space. It has been made possible with thanks to Arts Council England.
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) creates exhibitions, publications, multimedia, education and research projects designed to bring the work of artists from culturally-diverse backgrounds to the attention of the widest possible public.
Rivington Place is Iniva and Autograph ABP’s new contemporary visual arts space and the UK’s first permanent public space dedicated to culturally-diverse visual arts and photography. The building has been realised with thanks to funding from the Arts Council England Lottery Capital 2 Programme and Barclays Bank plc, the Rivington Place founding corporate partner – contributing £1.1million towards the development. This innovative partnership reflects Barclays history of supporting positive social change and making a real and lasting difference to the diverse communities in which it operates.
With thanks also to London Development Agency, City Fringe Partnership, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Hackney Council and The City Bridge Trust for their support as well as The Foyle Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation. Thanks also to Brodsky Centre and Clifford Chance for their kind support. (www.rivingtonplace.org)
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