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FOREWARD Our group of eight talented artists have created a unique exhibition on Alfred Hitchcock’s first ‘talkie’, ‘Blackmail’, a thriller filmed in 1929. This is a story of a young woman called Alice, whose boyfriend Frank works as a detective for Scotland Yard. One evening Alice meets a nameless artist whom persuades her into coming in and seeing his studio, where he attempts to rape her and in self-defence Alice stabs the artist to death. The murder of the artist is assigned to Frank for him to investigate, leading to a case of blackmail and a guilty conscience. Our exhibition Blackmail revolves around the attempted rape of Alice and her shattered image of vulnerability and innocence. As well as the cinematography of this black and white thriller that has inspired us. We have produced a wide range of work that includes visually stimulating pieces in the forms of: installations, photography and beautiful printing onto fabric and work utilising sound.

Blackmail Exhibition 5th May - 11th May The Ritz Cinema Lincoln

‘If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.’ Alfred Hitchcock.

Moumita Chowdhury My practice consists of working with mixed media, revealing my interpretation about my religion and culture in a contemporary context. Throughout my studio practice I have been depicting certain aspects of beliefs and rituals within my culture and representing them through paintings using pointillism, drawings and photography, which are all vibrant in colour. When watching the film ‘Blackmail’ I wanted to use certain applications from the build-up of the rape scene to produce my piece for the exhibition. Working with paint and inks I created illustrations of the build-up to the rape scene, in this part of the film there is no clear understanding of what happened behind the curtain. I mirrored my illustrations as I believe there are two sides to the story. I printed my illustrations onto large pieces of cotton fabric, this scene made me want express the feelings and emotions of both characters.

Hollie Everson I elected the chase scene from the film as this was the most visually fascinating to me creatively, due to the architecture and shooting angles. As well as the intelligent approach to the scene as the blackmailing character falls to his death after a vigorous chase. Without this being shown your imagination fills in the hidden scene. This inspired me too look at all the concepts of emotional blackmail, wrongful accusations and assumptions. I have layered various prints and media techniques to create intertwined images, producing one overall image. This corresponds with the concept of having an overall judgement or idea, however on closer inspection hidden images and unexpected aspects contribute to the overall picture. This piece is an A2 layered print. The print is made up of various methods, medias, and techniques including woodcut print, stencil, hand print and drawing. This woodcut method can create grains and errors in the print that I feel could be representing the old vintage black and white film grain. I selected the themes, scenes, and image stills from the film that I was personally drawn to emotionally and creatively, enabling me to interpret this film visually in my own artistic way.

Megan Fox For this exhibition I have created a piece of work which is out of my usual comfort zone, as my work mainly consists of acrylic paintings. I have visually recreated a scene from ‘Blackmail’, where Alice and the Artist are walking up the stairs towards his studio. I found the way this scene was shot was interesting and unique, instead of the camera following the two up the stairs, the camera follows them up alongside them, almost making the stairs look 2D. I have also taken the theme of rape from the film into my work as well, from reading a recent news article of data statistics. Lincolnshire has the highest record in the country of dismissals of rape cases at a staggering 33%. I have used this information in my work by creating 33 steps to represent that 33% and to reflect the stairs from the film; that lead to the attempted rape and murder.

Emily Lewis I work mainly as an installation artist working with mix media paintings and also sculptures. I find being able to interact with my art work is much more of a rewarding experience through contemporary artwork than classical traditional art. My piece of work for the exhibition ‘Blackmail’ is a very basic but effective instillation as are Hitchcock films. The dialogue and plot for ‘Blackmail’ is extremely simple as they tie in with the subtleness and characteristics of my piece. My piece of work focuses on Alice’s mental state, between her conflict of framing an innocent man and also the murder. I have always found mental states extremely interesting as a subject matter; I research and relate to it a lot within my practice. The repetitive phrases have appeared within my work a number of times. The whole action of writing as well as chanting the same phrase over and over can be quite soothing and yet frustrating which links in perfectly with a conflicted mind.

Charlotte Sneddon In all of my works the medium that I use varies depending on what the subject of my work is currently. I use bright and bold colours to exaggerate what I see to form an abstract and expressive spontaneous piece with fast, quick marks. After watching the film, I felt that I had a strong interest and connection with the sound track. I knew that I wanted to work with the relationship between sounds in the film and how they relate to how Alice felt in the rape scene. I chose sound as I knew I could capture the emotional aspect of the subject. My studio work also runs alongside my exhibition work as I am looking at how people respond to different sounds and the use of expressive marks made when reacting to a sound that they may dislike. I am experimenting with different mediums in my studio work such as: acrylic paints, charcoal, pens, pencils and wire. Charlottesneddon-artist

Alicia Symonds Expressing ideas photographically is something that has always been at the forefront of my work, whether that develops throughout digital or traditional film techniques. Most ideas stem from a photograph that has been taken, or something that has been quickly snapped along travels. Being experimental is key and mixing both modern and traditional techniques often brings me the most rewarding work. Photography is a gateway that enables us as people to capture the most intimate and memorable moments of our lives. Throughout this work the aim has been to distort this view of how the lens can be used by instead capturing hidden and more private images of the human body. Within the modern society we are forever presented with perfected images of the natural human body. The smallest of flaws are seen as a negative aspect, shunned and not to be seen. Throughout these images the extreme opposite representation of the human body is presented, showing the beautiful aspect of what is often viewed as a flaw.

Nicole Thornton All of my work varies in mediums and scale depending on the context of the piece. I produce works that involve mixed media sculptures and installations but also include detailed intricate materials such as pen, pencil and ink. The main content of my current studio work is specifically based with organic substances such as fruit, flowers and vegetables. Alongside domestic materials for example expanding foam and tin foil. The contrast between the organic and domestic is to make my audience aware of the thriving difference between the textures, smells and sights within my sculptures. Once having seen the film, ‘Blackmail’, I immediately wanted to focus on the dramatic scene between Alice and the Artist. With mixed media photography, I wanted to grasp a contrast through facts and deception of the topic. I chose photography and other mediums to create pieces that capture the concern of gender within the subject matter of rape.

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Megan Williams With cultural history being an interest of mine, my work has been formed from fragments of what I have discovered in my travels around Europe. My sculptures have definitely been inspired around this factor and will continue to do so, as I gain more knowledge of different cultures and historical facts of several other countries I have yet to discover. For this exhibition I have developed its historical side by looking at the image of a classic silhouette in the design of art deco. This image is painted on the draped curtain being picked up by the plaster cast hand of the puppet master pulling at the strings of the weakest opponent, this represents that they are the easily manipulated by blackmail. The use of the curtain is to present the image of the puppet who is being blackmailed. The inspiration for the piece has been through the use of the title and coming across a different viewing point of how blackmail can be seen from other angles.

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May 2014

Blackmail Exhibition Catalogue