Sophie and Kerri
Elsewhere, here, on the ground: 1
The ground. The place we sink our feet, dig for victory, dance, rest our souls. Host to cliches, celebration, lament, changing directions, patterns. Sometimes unstable, always shifting... in our memories scenes merge recalled through small details; crispy towels dried in the sun, the smell of animals, unspoken rules. Details where life accumulates. Delicate outlines the ground where life accumulates. The floor, the walls, the shape of the table, the bits where the varnish chips off that you colour in when left to your own devices, the overheard sounds, the awkward feelings. Bits on top of the definitive. The ground. Touched, therefore known for a split second. The underscore to the overture. Sometimes sticky, always dissolving. The background. Imposing order; soft glimmers / sharp shards. Not a lack that needs to be filled but an intangible inside that asks to be held. How.
Elsewhere, here, on the ground: 1 by artists Sophie Chapman & Kerri Jefferis is a digital collage of two ‘grounds’ - the glimmering remnants on the floor of Rowland Road Working Men’s Club the day after a (lesbian) wedding and close up details from a playground in Beeston, South Leeds that has been cut out in the wake of cuts and ‘antisocial’ behaviour. In some places the grounds perspective shifts, joins another’s fractured edge or appears to melt into itself, or to have been torn away completely.
“We were thinking a lot about space as social resource - who is welcome where, what maintains these structures and what they invite or allow outside cycles of consumption. We wanted to use the billboard to look closely, closer, at the details of these spaces, the remnants of pleasure and joy against the machine - stick them in people’s faces, massive, on a billboard, and ask what their wilful devaluation represents or signals to us or how it asks us to act.”
Elsewhere, here, on the ground: 1 is from a series of digital collages in production and part of a wider constellation of works informed by Sophie + Kerri’s time spent at East Street Arts Artist House 45 (South Leeds) through Summer 2019. This includes social sculpture (The Table), film (Idle Acts) and a public mural visible at Rowland Road Working Men's Club, Beeston.