Too Much
Rosanne Robertson

Open studio & performances.
29 Apr- 8 May
*Preview/VIP- Friday 29 April 6-9pm*

The Penthouse
Northern Quarter
M1 2EH


(Open both Fridays 6-9pm with scheduled performance & both Saturday- Sundays 12-6pm)

Too Much is a research and development project by artist Rosanne Robertson focusing on mental health, the modern condition of anxiety and the personal in contemporary art resulting in the development of newly exhibited assemblage, sculpture, performance, drawing and sound art work.

The project Too Much takes its title from a quote by Carolee Schneemann who wrote:

“Our best development grows from works which initially strike us as “too much”…Because my sex and work were harmoniously experienced I could have the audacity, or courage, to show the body as a source of varying emotive power”.

Too Much has developed throughout a period of studio based experimentation and research into uses and examples of anxiety and the personal in art via key movements including feminist art, ‘outsider’ art and Dadaism. Performance, extensions of the body and the personal in relationship with objects and sculpture has been a main concern- exploring the idea of performance sculpture or event sculpture as a site for expression vs form and spontaneity vs control. 

Assemblage, sculpture & performance, collage, improvisation, ritual, sound making and automatic drawing have been a focus in material terms as well as when selecting key artists and movements to research including the radical black artists of the 70′s LA avant-garde scene including Senga Nengudi and Barbara McCullough. Women in Dada and the use of assemblage and found objects in relation to performance and embodiment including Baroness Elsa, Suzanne Duchamp and Hannah Hoch. Direct expression and improvisation has also been a focus- exploring the boundaries of male dominated fields of sound art and improvisation.

This project has involved a period of research at The Henry Moore Institute with the Helen Chadwick archive. Focusing on specific works such as Ego Geometria Sum & Domestic Sanitation and the relationship between the autobiographical and the personal via the body<>object<>performance dynamic.

Too Much has developed into a number of strands and series’ of works including:

Hit On (2015) Circular glass, lead, sandpaper, metal thread, ink, hair.

-made during and of heightened emotional states and periods of mania- over activity comes up against boundaries and restraints of form.

Idealism (2015-16) Ink on paper.

-a numbered series of works depicting masses of bodily features drawn in an automatic state from memory, physical feelings and heightened emotional states bringing into question the relationship between the mind and the body and links between mental and physical health.

Appendage & Bond (2016) Sculpture and performance (found metal, cotton, nylon, hair, skin, flesh, bone, plastic).

-a sculptural work activated and reworked by the body in performance with a minimalist set of sound making. Combining materials and sculptural arrangements that depict raw and open parts of the body- clothed and unclothed- this work magnifies abstracted bodily sections as if to look for the small intricate fear hidden within small spaces of the body- to sublimate the discord of the past.

Some of these works were recently exhibited with The Penthouse at Sluice__ at Oxo Tower Wharf, Southbank, London, performed at Zarata Festival (Madrid) and at WUR Bradford self publishing fair. Appendage & Bond was developed with the support of Instigate Arts and is to be performed at Wonder Women: What IS She Wearing at Manchester Art Gallery on 3 March. The project is supported by Arts Council England.

For further information keep updated via my website, mailing list, email me or follow me on twitter.

I am compiling parts of my research via this online journal

I would like to thank Arts Council England for their support of this project, this support has meant the development of a whole new body of work and series of opportunities. I would like to thank all those who supported the project via Indiegogo and also an anonymous contributor. I would like to thank Instigate Arts for their vision and support. I would like to thank those who have bought work from the project and invested in my practice. I would like to thank the Henry Moore Institute for their open support whilst carrying out my research.

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