Dm 2020 exe pheonix cherelle sappleton 300dpi 4686

Cherelle Sappleton: Among Other Things

An explo­ration of pho­to­graph­ic media, with an inter­est in fem­i­nist agen­das and per­for­mance, util­is­ing abstrac­tion and sur­re­al­ist aesthetics.

As a woman of colour Sappleton seeks alternative ways to address the problems she identifies with representing ‘blackness’ and the (female) body as an artist. Using processes of collage and abstraction she explores and responds to issues of representation, agency and the materiality of photographic imagery.

Sappleton works with both traditional, hand cut paper-collaging techniques and with digital overlays and manipulation of imagery scanned from the original. By isolating individual body parts or otherwise fragmenting and distorting pre-existing source images, she seeks to complicate them – intentionally making them difficult to read - in an effort to reflect the complex layering of image and identity, not only in her personal experiences but also as a universal human experience.

Her images may appear in isolation or small groupings, such as in her series of small, framed collages, or else presented in combination with, or printed onto, a variety of other materials and sculptural elements. These often embody decidedly tactile, physical and sensual qualities; silk, mirror, rubber, leather – materials that may speak of luxury, intimacy even fetishism. A recurring motif of contrasting vertical stripes alludes to a disruption of simple, binary ideas on gender and race.

While still alluding to the body, these recent works move away from explicitly depicting or using the figure and, through the process of making, they become affirmations of the fluidity and flux of gender and identity, perhaps materialising into a proposition for a new way of being and thinking.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new printed text by the independent writer on photography and visual culture Karin Bareman.

You can see installation shots from the exhibition here