Present State Examination
CURATED BY DAM PROJECTS
LOUISA MARTIN, BELLA MILROY, JESSICA SCOTT
Curated by Morgan Quaintance and Amanprit Sandhu of DAM Projects, Present State Examination is an exploration of the socio-cultural, interpersonal, existential or political conditions surrounding the perception and treatment of psychological, physical and neurological ‘illnesses’.
A web-based group exhibition featuring newly commissioned artworks, images and text, the contributors share a belief in the benefits of progressive and alternative forms of care, questioning standard notions of illness, consciousness or disability.
The three new commissions include:
– Louisa Martin’s ‘SOLA’; the first of a new body of work reimagining the autistic labelled body and laying out a liberatory framework for self-seeing, outside the pathology paradigm;
– Bella Milroy’s ‘Breakfast’; focusing on experiences of illness and care within the domestic setting, through the stanzas of a poem written by her maternal grandmother;
– Jessica Scott’s ‘Everything I Touch Turns To Dust’; a zine examining what it is like to live with schizoaffective disorder.
Opening and closing essays by Morgan Quaintance (of DAM Projects) explore issues of neurodiversity and the standardisation of diagnosis and treatment.
Works in Present State Examination deal with emotional distress and mental health. If you are effected by any of these issues initial support is available through:
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm) // Website: www.sane.org.uk/support
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline) // Website: www.samaritans.org
// PRESENT STATE EXAMINATION EVENTS
Everything at Turf is free.
➮ FAMILY ACTIVITY GUIDE
Explore the ideas of the exhibition with our family-friendly activity guide
➮ PSE MIXTAPE // DISCUSSION WITH MORGAN QUAINTANCE // 28 Oct 7-8pm via Zoom
An online discussion of ‘PSE Mixtape’, a collage of video footage and clips that have inspired the exhibition and project, followed by a Q&A with Morgan Quaintance.
Join us online during half term, for a special family workshop! We hear a lot about how to keep our bodies healthy, but what does it mean be healthy in our minds, too?
➮ ARTIST Q&A // Present State Examination // 1 Oct 7-8pm
Discussion of Present State Examination with artists Jessica Scott & Bella Milroy
➮ ARTIST FEEDBACK SESSION: Led by Rosie Mills Eckmire // Sat 29 Aug 11am-1pm
Free feedback on your work from a practicing artist in a supportive environment. Led by artist and curator Rosie Mills Eckmire.
// ABOUT DAM PROJECTS
Curatorial collective DAM Projects (Daniella Rose King, Amanprit Sandhu and Morgan Quaintance). Inclusive and anti-elitist, the collective use temporary exhibitions and events to support emerging, underexposed and unorthodox artists, art scenes, discourses and debates. The collectives inaugural program Sunday School ran from 2014-15 and featured six solo shows from recent UK art school graduates and six exhibitions looking at emerging international art scenes. In 2017, ‘Letter from Istanbul’ was held at Pi Artworks. Comprising of a group exhibition, film and symposium, the project looked at art, culture, history and politics in the city of Istanbul. In 2018 we established ‘No Person’s Land’, an annual residency inviting international curators and cultural workers to think and work with DAM PROJECTS on joint research. Aimed at building an international peer network, the inaugural residency invited Canadian curator and writer cheyanne turions, and was supported by The Showroom, London.
// ABOUT LOUISA MARTIN
Louisa Martin (she/they) is interested in the conditions which structure and produce embodied experience, and how the possibilities for these conditions might be exercised towards new freedoms. Often the focus is on sensorial, affective and sub-linguistic modes, via immersive installations, sound, sculpture, live performances, text and videos. Recent work focuses on reframing the autistic body from within it’s own language, and pioneering new structures and spaces for social transformation.
// ABOUT BELLA MILROY
Bella Milroy (born Sheffield 1991) is an artist who lives in her hometown of Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She works responsively with found and archived material through mediums of sculpture, drawings, photography writing and text. Her work explores how we touch and make contact with the world around us, with the hand-held being of particular significance. She makes work about making work (and being disabled) and not being able to make work (and being disabled). She is interested in the duality of every-day existence, and how things can be both beautiful/painful, both interesting/dull. This process-based practice is fundamental to her as a disabled artist, utilising and working with the significant limits and demands of living with a chronic illness, all mixed in with the detritus of domesticity.
In 2015 she won the Birth Rites Collection Bi-Annual Award, part of which resulted in her residency at the Women’s Art Library, based at Goldsmiths University of London. Her resulting project, File Under Female, consists of a solo exhibition of her artwork; accompanying publication; and panel event, exploring core concerns of how we conserve, display and promote women’s art today.
She studied Fine Art (BA) at Nottingham Trent University 2010-2016.
Part of her practice includes her work with the Royal College of Physician’s Patient and Carer Network since 2014. In this work she challenges the way doctors and patients interact with one another and the significance of this relationship to the picture of our overall health as individuals.
Her favourite place to be is in the garden at home with her partner Jono, her dog Doris and her cat Grace.
// ABOUT JESSICA SCOTT
Jessica Scott (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in London.
Her visual art practice combines social and political ideas with traditional craft skills, employing these in contemporary ways to create domestic objects and pieces of art that can slip into everyday life.
She often use the domestic in her work as a backdrop for exploring personal and cultural ideas about home, heritage, identity and belonging.
Her work touches on punk, feminism, diy culture and the politics of shared experiences.