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Chronicle/Coracle: a talk by artist Jade Montserrat

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A series of performance films sparks conversations about land ownership, environmental crisis, race, trauma, belonging, and the body in art

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Artist Jade Montserrat and filmmakers Webb-Ellis began collaborating in 2014 by making a series of performance films in the landscape around their shared home. Entitled ‘Clay’, ‘Peat’ and ‘Cage’, these film vignettes directly grew from Jade's research and sketches, and document performances of physical acts - refusals of containment or control - in the landscape. In the act of gouging clay from the earth, splashing through wet peat, and entering a fox trap, the performances open conversations around land ownership, environmental crisis, race, trauma and belonging, through the lens of the body. As collaborators, the trio work through these ideas as an unfolding conversation, examining their respective subject positions, the politics of consumerism and post-colonialism, and the role of friendship within this unfolding web of meaning. Jade will speak about her praxis, these films and the development of their work together since.

About the speaker

Jade Montserrat was the recipient of the Stuart Hall Foundation Scholarship supporting her PhD (via MPhil) at IBAR, UCLan, (Race and Representation in Northern Britain in the context of the Black Atlantic: A Creative Practice Project) and the development of her work from her Black diasporic perspective in the North of England. She was also awarded one of two Jerwood Student Drawing Prizes in 2017 for No Need for Clothing, a documentary photograph of a drawing installation at Cooper Gallery DJCAD by Jacquetta Clark. Jade’s Rainbow Tribe project – a combination of historical and contemporary manifestations of Black Culture from the perspective of the Black Diaspora is central to the ways she is producing a body of work, including No Need For Clothing and its iterations, as well as her performance work Revue. Jade was commissioned to present Revue as a 24 hour live performance at SPILL Festival of Performance, October 2018, a solo exhibition at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, (Nov – 10 Mar 2019) which toured to Humber Street Gallery ( July-sept 2019) and was commissioned by Art on the Underground to create the 2018 Winter Night Tube cover. Iniva and Manchester Art Gallery have commissioned Jade as the first artist for the Future Collect project (2020). As of 2021, Jade participated in a group exhibition titled An Infinity of Traces at Lisson Gallery, and opened a solo exhibition titled In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens at Bosse & Baum Gallery, both in London.

This talk is organised by Bath Spa University's Research Centre for Environmental Humanities. Find out more about the RCEH.

Image credit: Clay, Stills from performance to camera made with Webb-Ellis 2015

Find out more about 'Clay, Peat and Cage' at York Art Gallery, October 1 2021 – February 13 2022.

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Organiser Research Centre in Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University

Organiser of Chronicle/Coracle: a talk by artist Jade Montserrat

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