Page 1

noun. An area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree. A fringe region of half shadow. An outlying surrounding region; a periphery.

A book by VERB Curatorial Collective __ _ of 100

Published by A.P.T Gallery 2014 ISBN: 978-0-9555666-9-1 The Art in Perpetuity Trust (APT) 6 Creekside Deptford London SE8 4SA Registered Charity No. 1045363 Company No. 3012557 Copyright Š 2014 All rights reserved. Book design by rgreffold Typeset in Gill Sans Printed at Orange Print Ltd, London


3 2 1 NOTE TO READER The following book is both about, and performative of, Penumbra. A transitional tenses, whilst deferring and moving between them. The written explorations

the reader into the past. Part 1 is here to ground the book in the present and allow Penumbra between them are not always linear.


Introduction Rachael Smith


A Written Exploration 16 Spray

Bedwyr Williams

22 Pleasure In Edges Greta Eacott

32 How Myths Are Made Anna Hussey

38 46

Lydia Julien


Collette Rayner & Daisy Lafarge

50 From Drone HQ: A Conversation In Three Episodes Collette Rayner & Daisy Lafarge

56 The Dash In Between HE. Wiseman

The Exhibition 65 Overview

Nella Aarne & Elizabeth Hudson

76 In The Shadow Of Interpretation Olga Stebleva

84 Works 108 Events

3 9



our debut exhibition Penumbra Deptford, London in spring 2014. This exhibition stemmed from a

emerging artists, for they would offer a

This book is an exploration of the themes raised in the exhibition; it

Penumbra A Written Exploration Spray, Pleasure in Edges Hussey investigates How Myths are Made Stem, Check, Stop. Untitled 1 (Lumber) (2010-11) is rooted 12

throwing their truth value into question. The pair then turn their attentions to the dangerous new world of drones in the illustrated dialogue From Drone HQ: A Conversation in Three Episodes. Finally, HE. Wiseman’s text The Dash In Between

Olga Stebleva presents In the Shadow of Interpretation, Sequence Shot alongside her own analyses of Penumbra

the themes raised.





Spray Bedwyr Williams is an internationally renowned artist who represented Wales in Glasgow International visual art festival 2014, with his solo show Echt at Tramway.

Spray Bedwyr Williams

think a lot of him and while he himself is not a people person friend who had one of his wings re-painted.

workshop will often stop what they are doing to look through the is unusual in that a former employee, who was a keen amateur

that he’s truly ‘working’. He wants to make sure that no fine mist 18

is landing where it shouldn’t. So the pleasure he gets when he’s

they to make a drawing of him. overalls. He wears an extra set underneath the standard set the others wear. They are faded and thin at the knees and on the arms

overalls, he points to the ankles and wrists and says to the younger overalls, they would be a mix of his body smell and a solvent smell. This is the true smell of him. He is even aware that this is his own

head so as not to make any noise. He doesn’t want to make a noise next door to hear him. There is a lull in their evening and long in the bath would be heard by them. He doesn’t want them to hear splashing and to then think of him in the bath, naked. There

not fantasising but rather sort of transporting himself away ever


tight and thinks how, ideally, he would mask himself. Eyes, nostrils and teeth would need to be done obviously. He would paint his about how he would do those. How he would push the masking that himself. To prepare himself so thoroughly.

being opened with a hiss. He starts.

He was on holiday when he saw the sprinkler. A working holiday.

teeth and how gritty and abrasive it would be. Horrible. But he does it

After towelling off and using a hair dryer to make doubly sure that


is showing slowed down footage of a Hindu Holi festival where pigment

and falls into a deep sleep. He dreams about being wrapped up in

and sees himself being sprayed onto wall after wall. Sometimes fades from top to bottom.

fallen open a little. Embarrassed, he draws the robe tighter and looks to the patio door, worried that he may have been seen. Nobody glass staring at him is a fox, a small one. ‘The urban fox’ he says, under his breath, and walks towards the

he mentions the fox visit. They aren’t listening, and even after repeating

until they disappear from his view. 21

Pleasure In Edges Greta Eacott

Penumbra Gestures: The Space Between motion into sound and explored the liminal

Pleasure In Edges Greta Eacott







, Chikako, ‘A Lee ‘The concept of with ‘Ma’ – Ta k e m i t s u ’

‘Intervals ("ma") in

Paradigm in Japan’, in


Greta Eacott, Gestures: The Space Between, 2014


Anna Hussey’s Relics, Penumbra exhibition. For Hussey, drawing provides an antidote to the unrelenting

How Myths Are Made

‘I am interested in what may occur when potentially affecting subject matter is presented in an objective, detached way, as occurs within museum collections.’

How Myths Are Made Anna Hussey

what triggered them are lost. I believe that it is our memories of these

Maybe we did. It actually sounds likely.

my ambition of one day looking like Barbie. Surveying the rest of the 34

room, my eyes will have rested on Ellie, a mousey looking girl with a misfortunes and our envy of Larissa’s abundant tresses.1

the Nativity. To my dismay however, my dreams of stardom were to be

of retribution.2

have taken her down. The only trees at our disposal were to one side of the lawn area where we were allowed to play during the summer. weather.3 I wonder that nobody saw us or tried to stop us. The trees

1. none. 2. and the Nativity may well have actually occurred after the alleged attack on Larissa. As I shall go on to discuss, it is likely that the incident took place during warmer months so, in any case, it seems that the

3. than tying them to the fence of a tennis court. At any rate, I always tell people it was a tree and even mentioned it at a speech I gave at her wedding. She’s never called me out on it. 35

had trouble! Surely I would have remembered that at least. No, we must have let her go.

word against hers. It never happened. We don’t remember a thing‌ we were only playing.


Hey, remember that time we tied you to a tree? The memory is passed on verbally and now shared in writing; A myth that may or may not have been birthed from true events. Whether and it’s out there, in the ether.

4. happened. 36

Anna Hussey, Relics, 2014


Stem, Check, Stop. Lydia Julien is a visual artist whose work is situated on the boundary between

Stem, Check, Stop. Lydia Julien

It looked very familiar to me, that high rise of There was no surprise that my senses were attuned There was more of a sense of being ambushed at



next to the market estate. and at the same time the people and pigeons dropped off. portion of testosterone was emerging to undertake my own demands, although I had no idea of what Further.

What was I going to do.


I prepared to be unprepared. As soon as I was there I would know, but I wouldn’t

Forget this, forget all. But I was obligated, to myself most of all. Trying to throw stones at the mammoth of rolling my hips in a way that didn’t have a shape in masses. yessum. yessum.

gave me freedom to this estate. I was king!

key into the holes. I think it was number 52.


the two sides. Not the past or the present but time.

That temporary state during a rite of passage

Flip.Stop. No. uh-uh.No. Why does this amazing web we have woven throw

Look at me. Look at it. of your phone. Oh it’s great. I don’t either, that’s the point.

Move along.


An odd oven glove and a box of soda.

So many windows, no one is looking in. No one is looking! It’s alright, no one is looking. Turning, turning around the sun and the stars. Suspension. I am suspended.

estate to remain. What Remains. Flip. Stop. Crinnng. True! Buuuuh. Buuuh. False! I opened the shutter again, the path between I was hiding again before the open shutter.

I still to this day wonder what people think.

Let me tell you the story. In all probability, over


Lydia Julien, Untitled (Interior) #44, 2007


At work you saw it, thought it was funny. Maybe it is. An afternoon’s entertainment on the phone. Move along. See the meat with added purse.

Lydia Julien, Untitled (Interior) #97, 1996/2012 45

1 Three Micronations 2 From Drone HQ: A Conversation In Three Episodes Collette Rayner is a visual artist Principality of Sealand by VERB to appear in the Penumbra that disturbs the parameters of validity

1 Three Micronations

Motivations for the creation of micronations: 1

Power trips and titleship


Tax evasion


For the good of humanity

The Republic of Kugelmugel1 Location: Vienna, Austria Status: exile Population: 1 (in exile) Size: 7.68m in Diameter Head of State: Edwin Lipburger

building permits, refused to pay taxes and printed his own stamps.



The Principality of Outer Baldonia2 Location: Nova Scotia, Canada Status: Defunct Population: Max recorded, 69 Size: 0.016 km2 Head of State: Prince of Princes Russell Arundell

were allegedly banned from the island, although Arundell stated: ‘none ever wanted to go anyway’.

the following inalienable rights: The right to lie and be believed. The right of freedom from question, nagging, shaving, interruption, women,

right to be alone. The right to sleep all day and stay up all night.’ 2.

‘Russ always took things too damn far. Of course he was a genius and I loved him

eyes. Only a man like Russell would sulk his way off to start a new nation though. It all got out of hand when he refused to come home for my parents’ annual visit and I had to go get him myself.

of my life.’ 49

Russell Arundell gave up his title and sold the nation for $1 to the

to the name Outer Bald Tusket. The Nation of Celestial Space3 Location: Entire universe excluding earth Status: Defunct Population: Unknown Head of State: James Thomas Mangan Motto: Magnanimity

in its territory.


that he’d never married or had children, and spent his last years ferociously campaigning.’ 50

Collette Rayner, Principality of Sealand, 2014



2 From Drone HQ: A Conversation In Three Episodes




The Dash In Between

HE. Wiseman is a London-based artist and founding member of VERB. She has in both solo and group shows. Wiseman’s

in the frameworks of language, theory and

The Dash In Between HE. Wiseman

(Before we begin) I only have 1500 words.

The binary framework is neither neutral nor natural; it is a human one of the two oppositions is privileged above, and preferable to, the other. Conserving these biases are deep-rooted presuppositions,

lot (at stake) to question.



indefatigable web.2 3


). In-between, in between,


In between

1. 2. Rational is just another form of incoherency. Whilst I hope neither is fully at work or omitted

3 Goldman in the late 19th Century’ taken from Choreographies 4. I am aware of the error here, the incorrect merger. However, it is a mistake seen so often that operation, the omission of the space, the indifference to the spacing shows the actuality of an


In between


In between opening, a paradox within a paradox something else here too: in between

Logos in between disrupts, it gets in the way. This binary. Are we looking at a strategy that does not follow its own in between, we un-reasonable

relating in the relation is being overlooked in order to maintain the



To the dash6 then, In-between. and a noun, (the embodiedment of the intermediate and the intermediate embodied) the in-between one-two). 7

Intermediate intermediare, to intervene. Inter meaning among, together, during and medius middle, so In-between, there is indeed something taking place in the middle here. A dash, supplanting quietly transformed the fundamental properties of the words, the in between In-between: the two words are simultaneously brought The dash brings forth the possibility of another relation that does not

in-between for other potentials to grow. Yet this spatial disruption is

The in-between space in in between, in-between and inbetween


one. 7. a word that inputs a characteristic to a noun/pronoun) and an adjective (concerning methods of enforcement of legal rights and not being able to stand alone



others are not.’

The in-between, in between and inbetween

in-between, in between and inbetween it is the dash that both binds and separates the duos, it is the very line with the thinking that it upholds. If the very foundation of the

penumbral grey area. In order for something to operate within a way of thinking that is not quite along the lines of binary, it must remain 8

Semiotics: the basics 62


for it is with

‘Does the dream itself not prove that what is dreamt of must be there 11



Choreographies 63





‘Penumbra’ denotes an in-between region where opposing elements Penumbra follows three

embedded in the self and venture into ambiguous terrains where

referred to the period of transition during a rite of passage. i This time. Breaking away from time within a ritual allows those taking part to re-situate themselves; when returned to quotidian life they artists in Penumbra are interested in the relationship of time to liminality. Elizabeth Hudson’s work represents a liminal phase outside transition and Anna Hussey addresses the ambiguity of memories. Elizabeth Hudson’s Vanitas

death; as a seed it should hold the potential for life, but in this 67

attempting to preserve the inherently transient or mortal, and that ii

fervently to have truly halted time, and yet also knows best that all

with the idealised; Anna Hussey’s Relics (2014) on the other hand represent reality without letting the viewer know what may have

How Myths are Made, memories portrayed in Relics have gone through many layers grandmother, her attempt to transpose them into writing and of the fragmented memoirs, imagining a visual translation of

is named after.


Light, Lighter

home ornaments. Burdakov states: ‘This work might be said to ritualise the passage of time, imbuing a very ordinary event with fuse.’ iii



long as the exhibition Penumbra did. Over this brief period, the


as one, we are always built upon a plenitude of selves, ‘as plates 69

are piled on a waiter’s hand’.v at times guiding us to unforeseeable terrains. Four artists in Penumbra

unknown of a single identity to one body. Fitting Rooms


Yet, although

us from the anxiety to determine who we ought to be, the new





primal state of oneness in the safety of the mother’s womb, and


The artist seems to

Broadmeadow’s installation Mastaba (2013) is an exploration of

body is almost entirely exposed but a gold mask veils her identity, her body and gestures multiplied in her mirror images. These



in Untitled 1 (Lumber) not yet returned to the ground; the image makes time itself visible of her own work, the artist appears alone in austere surroundings


Instead of seeing


Gestures: The Space Between (2013)

ma Gestures



Plume, Rip, Gentle Filth and Flip Flopping

that these worlds are part of; she likens the expansion of the internet universe. xiv


In Collette Rayner’s film Principality of Sealand (2014), the artist


Untitled permission to visit Sealand, only for this to be revoked on arrival state, home to only a handful of people and sustained by the profitability of no-questions-asked data storage. The awkward

the way that existing nation states operate. However, the

Penumbra is equally



i ii iii iv v vi vii viii ix x xi xii xiii xiv xv


Olga Stebleva

galleries and fairs. During her MA studies at Sotheby’s memory versus oblivion and the relations between

In the Shadow of Interpretation

In the Shadow of Interpretation

the temptations of power’.1

those of their supporters may present the same real life events with

of information, it is easy to fall under the impression that any information and, as a result, know what is really going on. Letting go

1. php/ 78

there is also another level of informational ‘noise’: amateur bloggers

following pattern: an online portal published an outrageous news story


Sequence Shot if it is

Pasolini states:


2. story with The War of The Worlds


Heretical Empiricism, (Indiana University


the montage. ***

likely to believe false reports (as we would have no other versions of

Penumbra, it seems to me that many of the relevant example would be the video work Principality of Sealand by

Principality of Sealand Untitled

borders and of people’s rights, I thought that one of the most interesting


and points of view of those that have thwarted their desires.

Principality of Sealand. We wanted the meaning of the work to be blurred and not to be easily

believe that the presentation of this work in Penumbra had the potential

for every witness, the narration of every witness right after an event relation to how history is being written and interpreted as time goes by

Penumbra Relics

were happening here. As the related texts were taken away from the


it tries to reveal some truthful real memory through the presentation past, and at the same time it warns that the story you draw from what nothing to do with the real history.

make all dialogue and negotiation easier. This doubt, I would argue, is the key word for open-mindedness.



Anton Burdakov


Light, Lighter 2013


Clare Price

Gentle Filth 2013

Rip 2013

Flip Flopping 2013


Plume 2013


Helen McGhie

Fitting Rooms, #13 2013


Fitting Rooms, #6 2013

Fitting Rooms, #17 2013


YuYu UU 2013 Hand-drawn animation



Lydia Julien

Untitled 1 (Lumber) 2010 - 2011




Greta Eacott Gestures: The Space Between 2014 Dimensions variable


Megan Broadmeadow Mastaba 2013



Elizabeth Hudson

Vanitas 2014 Dimensions variable Oil paint on wood,



Collette Rayner Principality of Sealand 2014 Duration: 5min Video 102



Alex McNamee

Left: Using a Muscle to Eat a Muscle 2014 Right: Untitled 2014 105

Anna Hussey Relics 2014

on paper, perspex



Events Penumbra exhibition, VERB organised a series of events, with the aim of expanding on the ideas raised in the show,

on The Progressive Potential of Uncertainty; it

HE. Wiseman and Penumbra

Panel Discussion

What is the Progressive Potential of Uncertainty?

as often as the panellists. The aim of the event was to develop the Penumbra exhibition as well as exploring their

as a representative of four others.’ This lead to addressing methods

Prenowitz brought to the table an insightful and in-depth argument of Derrida’s work, Dr Prenowitz problematised the idea of progression the event. Lise Hovesen, one half of the artist duo Standart Thinking,

more information on the panellists. 110


Workshops Children’s Creative Saturday




For their generosity and support, VERB would like to thank the following:

A.P.T Gallery, Deptford

Maria Aarne

Edward Stevenson

Ewan Alston

David Smith Elizabeth Smith

Stephen Coniam Suzi Thomas Will Thompson

Alexander Gilmore Ciara Tunstead Cyndi Tunstead Eoin Tunstead Ian Tunstead Stephanie Twigg Angelina Van Dyne Ashleigh Owen

Mark Whiteman

Elena Pavlova

Graham Wiseman

Tamsin Pearson

Theresa Wiseman Angie Wood

Mariateresa Setaro

Emily Young


Anton Burdakov Light, Lighter 2013

Untitled 1 (Lumber) 2010 - 2011

Gentle Filth Rip Flip Flopping Plume 2013

Fitting Rooms, #6 Fitting Rooms, #13 Fitting Rooms, #17 2013 @VERBureau



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VERB, Penumbra  

Penumbra is a collection of creative and academic texts developing the discussion around uncertainty as a positive experimental catalyst. Th...

VERB, Penumbra  

Penumbra is a collection of creative and academic texts developing the discussion around uncertainty as a positive experimental catalyst. Th...

Profile for verbureau