BLOG 3: PYLON.
If you have a mental health condition that enables you to see life differently, then you might produce a different and unique perspective within your artworks. I’ve tried to use this thought to enable me to approach my new mixed media installation artwork ‘PYLON’, which is about a journey a psychotic young woman takes. I seek to produce artworks that bring about a different angle on contemporary conversations. I personally feel this is a topic that needs further discussion.
Stigma is so severe for voice hearers, in order for other types of human experience to be seen as acceptable, we need to discuss openly about our thoughts and feelings. Be that in the everyday or about mental health.
We have been filming the video footage for my mixed media video installation ‘PYLON’. After an exhausting three days of filming physically and mentally, all involved delivered and wow, did we capture what I had in my head!
BLOG 2: James Paddock’s personal blog about PYLON.
My new mixed media installation PYLON is a thought-provoking artwork that demystifies the lived experience of someone who has psychosis, a condition often misunderstood.
PYLON will reveal a truthful depiction of the psychotic condition enabling exhibition visitors to experience psychosis in a unique and positive way. On completion, the artwork will be showcased to the public culminating in an exhibition at Black Box project space, UCA Farnham and solo show at A-side B-side Gallery, London later in the year.
Since my return to arts practice four years ago, my personal journey has involved me learning additional artistic/practical skills and assembling a team to help me progress. This includes assistance and mentoring from award winning artist Kye Wilson who will bring to the project his experience of project management and advice on professional arts practice using moving image in an installation context.
Recently I have met with other core collaborators, sound recordist Richard Gott and filmmaker Rob Luckins. Richard and I have been discussing about how through using audio we can bring a psychotic experience to audiences and ensure that it is technically possible. With Rob our conversations have involved discussing the shots I have in my mind and what is achievable and the best way to go about filming them.
With performer Amber Weyman I have been working on ideas for costume, hair and makeup for the fictional character ‘Lily’. This has included sending each other images of what she might look and be like, hopefully transcending the ‘psychotic’ stereotype. The character will be strong, captivating, yet going through a tough time. We have recently created some promotional images for the project and have begun to try out some different performance elements of the character. We will continue to build on this in future rehearsals together and are looking to begin filming in the spring.
Please take a look at the Art Reveal PYLON Blog:
PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
Southampton based artist James Paddock receives Arts Council England funding for first London solo exhibition.
Life’s rhythms are magnified and everything around the psychotic character is at a hyper level. The everyday is intensified and the normal journey is taken to another world, another land – a new place. Birdsong, the sea, the wind is in communication with the psychotic character – a world in which people communicate telepathically.
James Paddock has been awarded Arts Council funding to develop PYLON, a new mixed media installation inspired by experiences of psychosis. The artwork will be exhibited at A-side B-side Gallery in London from 4 – 10 September 2019 as Paddock’s first London solo exhibition.
The installation takes the viewer on a journey of a psychotic young woman (performed by actress and performance artist, Amber Weyman) who travels on foot, as the psychotic experience unravels. The artwork uses moving image and special audio techniques (binaural sound) to convey the psychotic experience to audiences through an immersive installation.
PYLON is a continuation of Paddock’s enquiry into often-overlooked topics of contemporary society in this case mental health. Paddock says, “I wish to contribute to breaking down stigma surrounding mental illness. When people think of psychosis, they might imagine an unreality in their minds. By discussing such a difficult and often controversial topic through the medium of art I hope to offer an alternative route to understand the condition and help dispel the surrounding myths. I am pleased that Arts Council England recognised the importance of my work and the contribution it can make to tackling difficult subjects in society.”
For Paddock PYLON marks an important point in his artistic career. “I’ve relished the opportunity the solo exhibition has given me to push my practice and explore new audio techniques. I have worked site-specifically and developed the sculptural element of the installation in direct response to the characteristics of the gallery space, heightening the immersive experience for the audience.”
Phil Gibby, Area Director of South West Arts Council England, said: “We are really pleased to support PYLON through our National Lottery project grants programme. This investment allows James Paddock to develop his creative practice and find new ways to tell his story. At the Arts Council we believe that arts and culture can have a positive impact on wellbeing and this project opens the door to discussions around the experience of different types of mental health issues.”
Follow the development of PYLON across multiple online platforms:
Image Credit: PYLON, Production Still, James Paddock, 2019
Notes to Editors
About James Paddock
James Paddock produces conceptual artworks using mixed media. His work explores and critiques aspects of contemporary society, questioning the current narratives in todays western society and discussing often frequently overlooked topics, such as mental health, social isolation, human conditioning and freedoms in the western world. He tackles these difficult issues with insight and awareness bringing them to the attention and breaking down social stigma. Paddock graduated with a BA Fine Art degree from Cardiff School of Art & Design and Winchester School of Art. Recent exhibitions include: Passion For Freedom, London; Espacio Gallery, London; Solent Showcase, Southampton; and Santora Space205, California (curated by Diana Ali mentor on BBC1 arts series).
About A-side B-side Gallery
Tinsel Edwards and Catherine Magnani founded A-side B-side Gallery in late 2011. Studios reside alongside the gallery space, which house a collective of both emerging and established artists whilst supporting ambitious collaborations within an experimental and evolving creative space. The gallery is a not for profit company, supported in kind by friends of the gallery, grants and donations.
About Arts Council England
Arts Council believe that great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. We champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. As the national development agency for the arts we support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
PYLON is supported by public funding through the National Lottery Project Grants from Arts Council England.