In Focus presenting Anna Farley opens at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton

Photoworks and Project Art Works have commissioned Anna Farley for In Focus, to make a new work for an upcoming solo exhibition.

The commission is part of EXPLORERS, a three-year programme led nationally and internationally by Project Art Works. The exhibition This gives you a score of 0 opens at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton, East Sussex, on 19 October and runs until 3 November 2019. A preview takes place on Friday 18 October from 2pm-7pm. Entry to the exhibition is free. 

Anna, who is based in London, self identifies as a neurodiverse autistic adult and has made a new body of photographic work reflecting on her own experiences and has created it with support from Photoworks and artist mentor, Becky Warnock.

Using photography and sculpture, Anna’s commission brings methods of alternative communication to the forefront, by creating a mass of ‘infinity fidget cubes’. From hours of footage taken whilst wearing a GoPro camera, Anna extracts stills hinting to where, when and how her autism may be visible. Her work highlights the barriers and her needs in domestic, work or social moments. These then bind the cubes into objects for touching and experiencing the images using repetitive behaviours. The work is a reaction to her problematic experiences of the UK benefit system. The cubes attempt to establish visual responses to questions from forms and applications of her Personal Independence Payment and its impact on her life and those around her.

Photoworks Director, Shoair Mavlian, said: “Anna’s work is tactile and interactive, using photography in both an experimental and practical way. It’s been a great process working with Anna to develop this work and we look forward to audiences being able to experience Anna’s work at the exhibition”

For the project, Photoworks approached commissioning a lens-based artist in a new and different way. The organisation shifted their commissioning model to allow wider access to the opportunity. They developed a different type of brief for how to apply and held open surgeries, created PDFs with easy to read and speech functionalities and included a neuro diverse panel in the decision making and commissioning process.

Anna graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts UAL: SCULPTURE in 2015. Her practice is about how she processes information physically and psychologically. In her practice to date, Anna has made sculpture using radios, books, sound recordings, masking tape, pegboard, paperwork and photography. Mixing concept and craft, she matches aesthetic to subject with changing materials.

She said: “I am used to something like this being an impossibility for me to be able to take part in. The reality of what impact this will have on my development as an artist creatively, technically and professionally is exciting. This commission is a bigger chance for us to create a blueprint for organisations to see how they can proactively tackle inclusivity in the arts today”.

In Focus presenting Anna Farley also included a programme of action research and photography activities for neurodiverse adults and young people. Artists and social care practitioners have been working together in adult social care settings across Sussex to develop and deliver this programme of activity. The participating artists were Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Bill Leslie and Lynn Weddle. The art work made during this element of the project will also go on display at Phoenix this month alongside Anna’s work.

In Focus presenting Anna Farley is supported by Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and is in partnership with Phoenix Art Space.

This gives you a score of 0 exhibition opening times are 11am – 5pm Wednesday – Sunday.

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