Thought Things was a workshop conceived by Edinburgh-based artist Stephanie Mann in response to our gallery programme exhibition ‘You be Frank, and I’ll be Earnest’ which featured the work of Alisa Baremboym and Liz Magor.
The workshop considered the area between object and image, the interaction of the organic and the inorganic, and an intensive exploration and understanding of materials. Exploring how the artists’ works invoke distinct emotional and physical reactions, participants were guided by Mann to consider the unstable character of objects, ideas and human beings, and explore how information is shaped and translated.
The workshop explored ‘gut feeling’ as an instinctive collector of information, encouraging participants to work together to generate a bank of imagery through play and surrealist making techniques. Participants then individually responded to the material collectively generated by producing a sculptural object and abstract text and documenting their arrangements by using their bodies in the final assemblages.
Stephanie Mann’s work uses every-day, familiar objects and commodities to create abstract pictorial assemblages that play with our sense of what those objects are commonly used or known for. It disregards the objects’ natural hierarchy to focus upon their decorative, material and sensory qualities, combining natural and artificial imitation, the industrial and hand-made. Whilst Stephanie’s work is inherently sculptural, her practice occupies the space between two and three dimensions, sharing much in common with the history of painting, and predominantly that of the still life. Colour, texture, surface, composition, the layering of fore-and background, and the relationship between, and the arrangement of, objects is paramount to her work.