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Paul Mellon Centre: Contagion
November 13, 2020 @ 6:00 am - 7:00 am
A Research Lunch by Jade Montserrat
Contagion expands on ‘Drawing as Contagion’, a chapter included in the forthcoming publication A Companion Guide to Contemporary Drawing, edited by Kelly Chorpening and Rebecca Fortnum (2020). Contagion, like blackness and darkness, is considered a negative word but I can use this. Entering a space can be risky, having no control over what material will land on you, even if the trace is invisible. I think if my purpose is to try and work out how I can contribute to transformative justice visions and ethical practice in this world, the work asks me to center decolonization work and antiracism, to try and unpack and absorb theory around blackness, and what the charcoal I use in performance drawing installations does is implicate everyone in that blackness – like the idea of contagion. Contagion centers material that demand intimacies. Contagion is a meditation on refusals of containment or control and an exploration of care asking: What does it mean to survey and reclaim ‘environments’, our relationship to space, and where are potentials for reclamation and belongings?
Jade Montserrat has been the recipient of the Stuart Hall Foundation Scholarship which supported her PhD (via MPhil) at IBAR, UCLan, Race and Representation in Northern Britain in the context of the Black Atlantic: A Creative Practice Project and the development of her work from her black diasporic perspective in the North of England. She was also awarded one of two Jerwood Student Drawing Prizes in 2017 for No Need for Clothing, a documentary photograph of a drawing installation at Cooper Gallery DJCAD by Jacquetta Clark. Jade’s Rainbow Tribe project – a combination of historical and contemporary manifestations of Black Culture from the perspective of the Black Diaspora is central to the ways she is producing a body of work, including No Need For Clothing and its iterations, as well as her performance work Revue. Jade was commissioned to present Revue as a 24-hour live performance at SPILL Festival of Performance in October 2018; a solo exhibition at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, (November to 10 March 2019) which toured to Hull’s Humber Street Gallery (July to September 2019) and was commissioned by Art on the Underground to create the 2018 Winter Night Tube cover. Iniva and Manchester Art Gallery have commissioned Jade as the first artist for the Future Collect project (2020).