The exhibition Power Cut is a new body of work by young London-based artist Elizabeth Hudson, which explores feelings of powerlessness. Working across a range of media, Hudson uses absurdity and exaggeration to face her lack of power.
The exhibition takes its title from a work in the show that is based on the artist’s conflation of strength and power in the biblical story Samson and Delilah. Hudson has created a drone (Delilah) that harvests the hair from the 50 people in the world that she perceives as having most power over her life. This hair has then been fashioned into a wig (Crown) for the artist to wear to reclaim their power and take it for her own. The wig has been made in the style of the elaborate headpieces worn by the aristocracy in the 18th century (as epitomised by Marie Antoinette).
As a counter to Power Cut, the installation Black Out is an alarmist imagining of a dystopian future where the artist herself has supreme power. For every well-intentioned policy she has devised, the corresponding worst case scenario seems inevitable; she cannot even imagine a functioning society where she were powerful. The installation is made up of a series of wooden tablets, whose glossy surfaces and chamfered edges mimic blank screened mobile devices. The title of each of these objects reads as a ‘trending’ headline, ready to be shared on social media - if only Hudson’s regime allowed the media to dissent (or iPads to be made of materials other than hand-crafted wood).
#Revenge and #Hudson are a pair of photographs that document an act of resistance carried out by the artist. As she was powerless to prevent loggers from destroying her favourite childhood bluebell woods, Hudson has traced the tree-fellers to exact (peaceful) vengeance by filling their machinery with handmade bluebells. These real images follow the Facebook/Instagram maxim that to have done something, one must be seen to be doing it in a photograph. By sheer coincidence, the tone of #Hudson perfectly matches the Instagram filter ‘Hudson’.
From ridiculous schemes to details that appear to subtly undermine the very point she claims to be making, Hudson defies us to believe her. Each work has multiple layers of potential deception, meaning that one might start to doubt things that initially did not appear to be part of the work, or question the gallery’s complicity in presenting the artist’s version of events. (And if you’re wondering, yes, a three-foot cardboard drone can cross the Atlantic, enter the White House undetected and scalp the President. He now wears a wig.)
The exhibition opens on the 6th of February at 6pm at Bocs.
Art + Power: Covert Creative Circuitry
Using electro-conductive paint and modelling material, learn to create electric circuits hidden in works of art, and find out about the real-world applications of this technology, from designer lighting to drones.
The workshop will run at 1pm on the 7th of February
£4 for children, £7 for adults.
Workshop led by the artist.
Get tickets on Eventbrite.
The artist talk with Elizabeth Hudson will start at 3pm on the 7th of February.
Get tickets on Eventbrite.
Elizabeth Hudson - Power Cut by Bocs on Mixcloud
Elizabeth Hudson (b.1990) graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2013,
and now lives and works in London. Her practice is multi-disciplinary,
encompassing sculpture, installation, lens-based work and paint. She is
also a published illustrator and a curator with arts collective VERB.
Selected exhibitions include:
Penumbra, A.P.T Gallery, London, (May 2014); My Head is an Animal, South
Square Gallery, Bradford (Dec 2013 - Jan 2014); Prisimism, Transmission
Gallery, Glasgow, (2013); Glasgow School of Art Degree Show, Glasgow
School of Art, Glasgow, (2013); Minnows and Castles, The Art School (GSA),
Glasgow, (2013, solo show); Miniworks II, Schillerpalais, Berlin (2011);
Art on the Wing, Maclaurin Galleries, Ayr (2011); Half Way (part 1),
Mackintosh Gallery (GSA), Glasgow (2011); Art of Nurture (semi-finalists
show), Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh (2011); 12×12x12, The Glue Factory,