Talking Sheds: "Home" Ned Jackson Smyth, Penny Brewill, Helen Bradbury,The Oriel Gallery, Clotworthy House, Antrim

Penny Barron, Ned Jackson Smyth, Helen Bradbury

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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This research explores approaches to Dialectic Anthropomorphism in two contexts. ‘Talking Sheds’ is designed to reflect social engagement pre-COVID, reminiscent of a casual neighbourly discourse over the garden fence, or down at the allotment. It is intended to impart positive body language in which signals are transmitted beyond a conscious awareness; without the need for self-control. The aim of this research is to draw the spectator into proximity with the work in order to listen in and invite debate participation. ‘Socially Distanced Objects’ in contrast is intended to convey pandemic linked behavioural changes. This research aims to reflect social anxiety where face to face interaction skills have been forgotten to the extent that there is an awkward silent tension and distrust between the two ‘rigid’ objects. Physical impulses to embrace have been curtailed and nervous caution is exercised. The lack of expression, spatial distance and tense demeanour of the objects aims to transmit unease. Communication is only possible through digital technology through which body language cannot be ascertained. The spectator can view at a distance indicative of the closure of the Ulster Museum exhibition venue and the exhibition moving to a virtual platform.The theoretical underpinning to the work was inspired by exerts from ‘Body Language: 7 easy lessons to master the Silent Language.’ Borg (2008) states that we are educated to believe that language skills and the spoken word are of paramount importance, but the silent language is of equal importance, if not more. ‘Talking Sheds’ was a contribution to a 3-person exhibition at The Oriel Gallery, Clotworthy House, Antrim (2019), and selected for The National Original Print Exhibition at The Bankside Gallery, London (2019). ‘Socially Distanced Objects’ was selected for the Royal Ulster Academy 139th Annual Exhibition and exhibited at The Ulster Museum (2020) and throughout lockdown.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Oriel Gallery, Clotworthy House, Antrim Castle Gardens, Co. Antrim
PublisherAntrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
Size52 artworks
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 Feb 2019


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