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Elizia Volkmann
18th November - 17th December
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Blind Shutter 02 is the second instalment of a long-term project of self-portraits by artist Elizia Volkmann. Developed during a residency at Leeds Metropolitan Gallery in their Testbed 03 programme in collaboration with SFX make up artist Sam Myers, Blind Shutter 02 she again returns to the theme of blindness and the visual artist. Where the first Blind Shutter is a violent image of a woman with bandaged bleeding eyes determinedly squeezing the cable release to take her own picture, Blind Shutter 02’s central image is that of the artist in a state of serene, internal contemplation, devoid of eyes, the skin having seemingly grown over her eyes, blocking out all vision. The complete work takes the audience through three rooms as if entering a tomb or shrine like space venturing deeper into the gallery space. From the entrance viewers follow the snaking light sculptures into room one where video of the artist, eyes closed asleep is projected onto a vat of black crude oil. Following through to the final room where the image of Blind Shutter 02 is mounted upon the wall, printed onto sheets of photocopy, tiled to create a vast image illuminated by light sculptures. The whole room is covered in copy paper loosely attached to the walls. The papers flutter disrupting the image of Blind Shutter 02 disturbed by the breeze created by industrial looking fans inside cages. The only sound is the hum of fans inside the cages and of the papers fluttering.

Biography: Elizia Volkmann first began showing work as part of the Riot Grrrl Invasion of the ICA with portraits of the Leeds/Bradford Riot Grrrl Gang and a pair of self portraits in 1993. She later graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 1996 with First Class Honours in Fine Art. Since then she has exhibited widely both in the UK and Germany and her work has been commissioned by Festivals such as ISEA 98 and galleries such as Huddersfield Art Gallery for “The Piano Lesson”. More recently she completed a residency at Salford University which resulted in the first showing of “Blind Shutter” at the Glass Box Gallery in April 2004 and has just completed the Testbed 03, residency at the Leeds Metropolitan Gallery further exploring the work she began with “Blind Shutter” and another project with video artist Karen Heald, The resultant work was shown at the Stroud House Gallery in a group show entitled: “Projections”.

Mode of Practice Working principally with photographic and video images, Elizia Volkmann’s practice explores the more visceral side of the human condition, confronting our fears, hidden desires and passions. She crosses the line between image and installation, dissecting the flat plane often and relating it to a specific space and often other objects. Her purely 2D work engages with the epic, working on a large scale so that the image becomes an architectural element within the space in a similar way to Rothko positioning of his giant paintings into gallery and other spaces to render the effect of engulfing the viewer in the image as an immersing experience.

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