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Stuart Hall Library Research Network: Duties of Self-Care

Research Network: When artists get it ‘wrong’ Anna Walker

21 Feb 2019
  • Venue

    Stuart Hall Library

  • Address

    Chelsea College of Arts,
    Billiards Room, 45 Millbank, SW1P 4RQ

  • Time


  • £3 (booking fee applies). Booking required.

During this Research Network event, part of the Duties of Self Care programme, artist Anna Walker will present her research on ‘When artists get it ‘wrong’. The repercussions of crossing a line: vitriol, shame and trauma’’ with a screening of some of her sound and moving image work ‘Fragments’ and a more recent work, ‘Breathe Wind Into Me’.

The film ‘Fragments’, produced as part of her PhD, explores Anna’s research on collective and intergenerational trauma, artistic responsibility and censorship. She examines tension where trauma meets memory through a series of investigations to achieve greater understanding of trauma and its wider cultural implications. The outcome being the provocative moving image piece ‘Falling’ (a part of ‘Fragments’) which features the explosive sounds of the Twin Towers falling.

‘Breathe Wind Into Me’ presented at Fabrica Gallery (January 2019) investigates the traumatic repercussions of being exiled from one’s homeland and the yearning for the motherland as a way to research identity, loss and memory. The film takes the idea of trauma back to the beginning, back to the breath.

A discussion will follow this screening to open a dialogue about the place where harm is done, raising questions about who owns the cultural space of trauma? Is it possible for artists to have dialogue about such provocative subject matter, without being scapegoated, shamed, or traumatised?

About the artist

Anna Walker (PhD) is a multi-disciplinary arts-practitioner who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Southampton University (1998) and a certificate in Psychotherapy from CBPC, Cambridge (2010).

Her training as a psychotherapist led to her PhD in Arts and Media at Plymouth University (completed in May 2017) which explored how the body responds to overwhelming and stressful situations and reorganises itself to cope with or manage the traumatic situation.

Her research rebalances the critical with an autoethnographic approach to remembering trauma, utilising personal experiences to facilitate a greater understanding of memory, trauma and its wider cultural implications.

Image credit: Anna Walker. Still image from 'Falling' as part of the film 'Fragments'.