Exeter Phoenix is pleased to present Among Other Things, a solo exhibition by London based artist Cherelle Sappleton whose practice centres on an exploration of photographic media, with an interest in feminist agendas and performance, utilising abstraction and surrealist aesthetics. Seeking alternative ways to address the problems she identifies with representing ‘blackness’ and the (female) body as an artist, her work is grounded in processes of collage and abstraction, which are used to explore and respond to issues of representation, agency and the materiality of photographic imagery.
Sappleton works with both traditional hand cut, paper-collaging techniques and with digital overlays and manipulation of imagery scanned from the original. By isolating individual body parts or otherwise fragmenting and distorting pre-existing source images, she seeks to complicate them – intentionally making them difficult to read – in an effort to reflect the complex layering of image and identity, not only in her personal experiences but also as a universal human experience.
Her images may appear in isolation or small groupings, such as in her series of small, framed collages or else printed on, or presented in combination with, a variety of other materials and sculptural elements. These often embody decidedly tactile, physical and sensual qualities; silk, mirror, rubber, leather – materials that may speak of luxury, intimacy even fetishism. While still alluding to the body, Sappleton’s recent works move away from actually depicting or using the figure explicitly and, through the process of making, they become affirmations of the fluidity and flux of gender and identity, materialising into a proposition for a new way of being and thinking.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited edition pamphlet with text by independent writer on photography and visual culture Karin Bareman.