Ashleigh Williams & Gabriella Davis
01 August 2020
August Residency: Cue Tiny Violin
I’m Ashleigh Williams and I’m average at best, aggressively mediocre- whatever you wanna call it. My work aims to highlight the importance of lived experience, and in return maybe have some content beyond your classic art jargon. Something my family can access. When you’re an underrepresented part of the ‘art scene’, presence and existence become socially engaging and political. Moral of the story? More people like us need representation.
I am one part of Babeworld, an art collective which aims to dismantle art hierarchy through accessible reading groups and alternative forms of education. I have written for Gal-dem and Huffpost, alongside being in receipt of the Montez Press Writers Grant 2020. This year my video works have been shown at The Institute of Contemporary Art London (after being selected for their New Creatives programme) and Shape Arts Open. I am currently part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries, 2020, as well as working on my collective lecture series, “Don’t Worry I’m Sick and Poor” – to expand it beyond Royal College of Art, where it initially began.
I’m Gabriella Davies, a 28 year old artist who has run away from being poor and marginalised in Stoke to live the artists dream of being poor and marginalised in London. Previously described as ‘a reasonable balance of swearing & insight’ and ‘chic & tacky all at the same time’, I’m a working-class trans woman from the midlands with an answer for everything. Known as the queen of one-liners, with a knack for killer titles, I play to my strengths; taking class and gender and turning them on the world as my lens.
I received my MA from Royal College of Art in 2019. Since then, I have worked at the institution as SU co-president. This year, I have been published by Montez Press (both text and radio) and was also in receipt of the Montez Writers Grant 2020. I also have been selected as part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020, and was shortlisted for the Institute of Contemporary Arts New Creatives programme.
We want to explore and research what kind of support marginalised groups such as us need during times like these- where working conditions may remain the same – but the world events continue to develop. We want to explore how artists, curators and even instagram artists can implement support for these groups. Part research, part short film experiments, past continuing text – we want to produce a series of 3 minute paid interviews with our communities to see how corona and the BLM movement has impacted them. The interviews will be broadcast on IGTV and we’ll continue the discussions through accessible crits and reading groups to open up topics for us to write about and research. We aim to platform the voices of the underrepresented: Disabled, Trans, Black, Queer and working class voices. Also those whose jobs are affected such as Sex workers (just like me!).
Navigating higher education and art circles can be quite isolating when you find it hard to engage with complicated or inaccessible literature. Specialised texts can be a tricky one, so we believe in the power of contextual references that are based on experience, not just academic knowledge. We’ve picked our favourite 4 things that are influencing how we think and create right now. Do check them out!
Megan Thee Stallion: Tiny desk concert [Explicit language]
Soundcloud: Ideal Life Radio Show
Website: Jamie Steedman
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Here with the first installment of our interviews. We’ve conducted interviews with artists we love to ask them how the past couple months have been, projects they’ve been working on and how we can come together throughout everything currently going on in the world. First up: us!
Today we asked one of our fav writers to give us some thoughts. @wordsofleah
We’ve conducted interviews with some of our favs, and asked them for a couple of contextual references for their work. First up, We have Molly Daniel. Alongside being a film director and photographer, she also runs Artists in Transit @artistsintransit, a community organisation dedicated to bringing art to young communities.
We interviewed Molly Daniel, a film director and photographer who also runs Artists in Transit, a community organisation dedicated to bringing art to young communities. The visuals were given to us by Molly, and we cut them up to give ya what you see before your eyes!
British Sign Language:
This piece is from sex worker and artist Georgina Tyson. She also creates work with Ash under @babeworld3000.
[TW: Sexual assault]
This Friday we have an interview with Fauziya, artist and activist based in Liverpool. Here’s a couple of her contextual refs and also just good viewing/listening recommendations!
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We interviewed Fauziya, an artist who also runs ROOT-ed zine, a platform that uplifts and supports POC from the North of England. Visuals are some given to us by Fauziya, and edited by us.
Contextual refs for Fridays interview!
This time from Jhenelle White. Jhenelle is a London based artist, mainly working with film and digital media.
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We interviewed Jhenelle, a London based visual and digital artist to find out how lockdown has been treating her.
Visuals by Jhenelle.