Textual Transformations: What are Words Worth? Group show

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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Textual Transformations is an ongoing experimental strand of Gilligan’s research on tactile transmediality. Modified books are used to bridge the material distance between media representations, cultural artefacts, and lived experiences.

Inspired by the work of Tom Phillips, Austin Kleon, and Anselm Kiefer, words and images are mediated, redacted, and reconfigured, blurring the boundaries between process, artefact and the body. Gilligan combines mixed media experimentations, drawing, and creative free writing to adapt the pages of reclaimed books through the intersecting processes of destruction and creation. Through repurposing and remaking, the power of the author and encoded meaning is called into question, as autobiographical narratives and emotion disrupt the dominant discourses.

In installing the work in Gallery North, the boundaries between private and public narratives, academia and creative experimentation are further blurred and transformed, as ‘artefacts’ become loaded with a multiplicity of meanings. Gilligan’s public ‘intellectual’ academic discourses contained in peer reviewed journals and scholarly books co-exist with the plethora of personal, private and emotional voices that spill out in her modified books. These textual transformations are juxtaposed with influential books, postcards, cards, letters, gifts and mementos. Collectively, they are objects that speak loudly in the absence of others.

Installation and Works

Sartorial Cartographies (2024)
Stop frame animation photographed by Jennine Wilson.
Taken from an extract of Reading Allowed: Lockdowns (2020-2021).

Jekyll and Hyde: Grief (2024 – Present. Work in progress).
Mixed Media (reclaimed book, fine liner, biro, brusho).

Down to Earth: Grief (2022 – Present. Work in progress).
Mixed Media (reclaimed book, tracing paper, magic tape, book binding thread, fine liner, brusho, ink, paint marker).

IT: Variants (2022).
Mixed Media (reclaimed book, fine liner, brusho, paint marker).

Post COVID Malaise (2021).
Mixed media (accordion album, paint marker, fine liner).

Reading Allowed: Lockdowns (2020-2021).
Mixed Media (reclaimed book, tissue paper, fine liner, watercolour pencil).

The Theatre of Medieval Europe: Ripper #1 (2019).
Mixed Media (reclaimed book, brown paper, tracing paper, fine liner, cellulose thinners, charcoal, photocopies, cotton, leather, satin, candle wax).

Companion to Post War British Theatre: Ripper #2 (2019).
Mixed Media (reclaimed book, tracing paper, fine liner, cellulose thinners, charcoal, photocopies, cotton, leather, shoe laces, hessian, beetroot).

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle Upon Tyne
PublisherNorthumbria University
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2024
EventWhat are Words Worth? - Gallery North, Newcastle , United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Apr 202411 May 2024

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