Siobhan Davies Dance had the pleasure to present an exhibition by artist Lilah Fowler, whose work explores the relationship between visual art, movement and space. Fowler created new work, which directly responded to the design and architecture of Siobhan Davies Studios.
Fowler is particularly interested in the placement of artworks within the space and the way the audience navigates around them. Her work invites an awareness of the physical and psychological space, playing with illusion and perspective. Its placement encourages the viewer to explore around the objects, creating an individual sequence of movements and a spontaneous choreography.
Fowler’s work is often concerned with the imprint of time upon an object and how it influences our experience of it. The ways in which an object can gradually lose its function and reason or change from its original purpose is a key idea in her work, and was reflected in the title of the exhibition.
The tautology of Round circles creates a sense of double vision and for this exhibition she created works in brass rings similar to hula hoops that propped against the building and a dance barre. They were static sculptures but at the same time they had the potential to be ‘props’ that could be picked up, used, or leaned against, inviting interpretation and reinterpretation.
Fowler was also interested in the way that we react to space socially, collectively and individually, especially to planned spaces for living. The ‘edges’ in the exhibition title became synonymous with the boundaries that the architecture creates, reflecting on Laban’s idea of architecture as a response to movement or as movement organisation.
Her touchstones included Le Corbusier’s L’Unité d’Habitation in Marseille and other Brutalist housing structures, as well as the current use of Colonial architecture in Burma. In the exhibition these featured in screen prints taken from photographs of architectural facades, which again invited interpretation beyond the image as initially seen. These created spaces may seem to have failed to fulfil the intentions or ideals of their architects, but Fowler explored the ways in which they have adapted and continue to inform the present.
‘After spending time in the Siobhan Davies Studios space, I became particularly aware of my movement and presence within the building, this being in terms of my relation to the architecture and objects. Rather than creating a choreographic pattern of objects in space I am taking a closer look at the architectural design of the building to echo and accentuate this by working intentionally with its designed surfaces.’ Lilah Fowler
‘Since we moved into our unique studios, architecture and responses to it have been a growing area of interest for us. Fowler’s work, responding directly to the design of the Studios, continues to expand our thinking in this area, and encourages us to look at our building with fresh eyes.’ Alison Proctor, Programme Manager