Relics of what could be, what could have been
Rebecca Halliwell-Sutton

Relics of what could be, what could have been plays with archaeological and anthropological language, maybe it’s the start of an emotional archive; how do we record feeling, do objects embody feeling, does it provoke empathy? Imagine a map of every touch you’ve felt. Each work holds its own narrative and they are held in each other’s company by their shared language, material and the space they occupy.

The home is a contested site where power dynamics can be potent, revealed or subverted. By placing my work in a gallery within a domestic space, the relationship between body and power that is underlying in my work is brought to the surface. Exploring associations between land and body lead me to anthropologist’s investigations into prehistory and the agricultural revolution. They infer land has been shaped, ordered, contained and regulated with boundaries and ownership. Which has in turn imposed the same conditions onto our bodies and selves, encouraging patriarchal practices and restricting bodily autonomy.

Concrete that masquerades as marble reveals the hierarchy between faux and real, and the problematic idea of what is ‘natural’. It represents a relationship with time – stone and marble have a deep history that contrasts with concrete that takes just hours to imitate the former. My relationship with these materials is in the awe of concrete brutalist architecture and the post war communal spaces, built for a social need, colliding with the loaded history of contained figurative marble statues.

Can we encourage thinking about time as non-linear by imitating and mixing old and new? Past, present and future coexisting, occupying the same space, learning and sharing from one another.

– R


Rebecca Halliwell-Sutton (b. 1991, Bolton). Recent exhibitions include: Cut Cloth, Portico Library, Manchester; Texts from the universe, STCFTHOTS, Leeds (solo); In Dark Times, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Slowing into form, Vane, Newcastle. Rebecca is the current Woon Foundation Fellow in partnership with BALTIC39 and Northumbria University, and is a student of School of the Damned.