DEGREES OF FREEDOM [2021-22]

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From our treatment of the planet to our mental environments; from boundaryless work/play places of labour to the spaces concealed behind closed doors: the physical, virtual and psychological environments we create are affected by our state of mind, and our state of mind affects the environments we create.

Our relationship to the world can oscillate between comfort and fear; calmness and violence; security and uncertainty. How far does a person’s circle of care extend - to their mind, their body, family, street, the planet? This extraordinary year has redefined our relationship to the domestic. From intimate psychological proximity to the planetary scale, Degrees of Freedom reconsiders notions of home, domesticity and labour.

Degrees of Freedom is a collaborative painting and video installation project between visual artists Jill Tate and Matt Pickering. Degrees of Freedom draws on stark, minimal and exaggerated domestic interiors born of terracotta and concrete: materials with mixed connotations of earth and architecture, wellness and work. Working collaboratively on scale- and life-size models of interior scenes, Degrees of Freedom explores the domestic as mind, home, workspace and planet. Our collaborative work will use illusory devices to create a place of puzzles and uncertainties; where through repetition, distortion, and a feedback of forms the viewer will encounter the different dimensions of the domestic.

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Matt Pickering is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. From the line between perception and reality understood by persons living with Alzheimer's disease, to experiences of transitional spaces in institutional and domestic settings, his research led practice explores the in between spaces – physical, virtual and psychological – that mediate our lived experiences. 

Working across video, installation and photography, his work unfolds in minimalist surreal environments, constructed from basic construction materials, domestic items and strategically placed panels. His hypothetical narratives examine the complex intersections of autobiographical memory, account, fact and fiction. Characters start off as trustworthy, but as their subjective mediation of events unfolds, this fine, changeable line unravels in front of the outsider over time, while the characters remain oblivious.

Jill Tate is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. From the architecture we inhabit to the building blocks of reality, Jill surveys the visible and invisible structures that shape our shared and personal space. Her work often returns to the theme of home, regarding it as both a physical and psychological structure which permeates all levels of experience. Her constructed spaces are both a passive backdrop to, and an active participant in, the uncertain happenings within. 

Jill’s monochromatic paintings use earth colours to evoke the literal and metaphysical ground from which everything arises and returns. She considers that all things are fundamentally made of the same stuff; energy temporarily organised and subjectively experienced as solid matter, akin to a scene emerging from an arrangement of paint on a canvas.

With thanks to project supporter:

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