Tag Archives: Sinéad Bligh

A Maiden’s Voyage

Chelsea Café Project is pleased to present Display #15, A Maiden’s Voyage, an exhibition of artworks relating to the limited edition book and dvd of the same title by CCW PhD student Anne Lydiat. The project seeks to find an alternative account of the gendered space of the ship, moving away from the traditional stereotypes of the female on-board as figureheads, prostitutes and that even in the 21st century the ship is still called ‘she’. By excavating historical examples, Lydiat demonstrates how women have been written out of this perceived masculine preserve, and in so doing investigates issues of historiography and perceptions of truth. There will be a launch of the limited edition book and DVD of the same title at Chelsea Café at 2pm on Thursday 2 July 2015.

A Maiden’s Voyage is accompanied by images of two women from Lydiat’s research including Louise Arner Boyd shown on-board the Veslekari. Boyd was the first woman to venture into Arctic regions where only men had preceded her. In 1926, her love for photography and her fascination with the stories about the first Arctic expeditions prompted Boyd to charter a boat, the Hobby, for a six-week maiden voyage to the Arctic Circle. It was the first of many increasingly daring polar ventures that she financed and directed, bringing back photographs and survey data that resulted in detailed maps of previously unknown regions. The portrait of Beata is an artistic reconstruction of a woman of about 25 years old and thought to have probably been the wife or sister of one of the crew. Her remains were salvaged in 1961 from on-board the warship Vasa that had set sail on her maiden voyage and then sank in Stockholm Harbour on 10th August 1628.



Anne Lydiat has exhibited both nationally and internationally for over thirty years. Since 2002 she has lived onboard an old Medway Coaster moored on the River Thames. Her PhD research asks, if the ship is a paradigm of a Heterotopia, how can gendered art practices inform discourses in relation to this transgressive space? An essential context for her practice-led research is that both her home and studio are on a floating, fully navigable vessel. A fluvial existence where the constantly changing physical relation to the shore, being in between and on the edge both as a physical and conceptual margin, denotes the moving boundary of the heterotopic ship in time and space. As a rite of separation from her liminal state, and to create a space of agency, in 2013 she sailed to the Arctic Circle to follow in the wake of the Louise Arner Boyd. She made drawings, kept a Ship’s Log and filmed and photographed the ‘wake’ of the moving ship, making permanent the transient presence of her own rite of passage and those of women voyagers from maritime history.

Further details can be found online at anne@annelydiat.com and chelseapublicprogramme.wordpress.com

About The Café Project:
The Café Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated by Sinéad Bligh in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme. For more information please contact Sinéad Bligh at info@chelseaspace.org or in person at CHELSEA space.

Maiden Voyage logos

Open Studios at Balfron Tower

The Open Studios at Balfron Tower event, organised by Bow Arts as part of Balfron Season, takes place across the weekend of 20-21 September, from 11am-6pm, to coincide with London Open House weekend. Balfron Season is a unique programme of events organised by Bow Arts, situated in and around the Grade II listed Balfron Tower.

Connected by a shared interest in the history and legacy of Balfron Tower, Alan McFetridge, Sinéad Bligh, and CCW PhD student James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous present Flat 15 and Flat 12 of Ernö Goldfinger’s iconic high rise building. It is within this unique situation and space that the artists consider the importance of who has inhabited the building, who is present in the spaces now, and who will utilise this environment in the future. Through a combined presentation, the artists prompt an open discussion of the social, political, economic and personal im­plications of displacement and presence within this particular site and community. Inhabiting two vacated flats that, though mirrored, imply visibly different histories, their interventions open up a space for interaction, discussion and consideration located at the heart of Balfron Tower itself.

Completed in 1967 in Poplar, East London, the 26 storey Modernist structure of Balfron Tower consists of 136 flats and 10 maisonettes designated for habitation by social housing tenants. After being granted Grade II listing in March 1996, ownership was transferred from Tower Hamlets Council to Poplar HARCA Housing Association in 2007. At the start of the transfer process, the building was designated for extensive refurbishment, indicating the beginning of the gradual rehous­ing of the community. In the intervening years Bow Arts Trust has provided work/live spaces for artists at Balfron Tower and managed education, environmental and cultural work in the local community. In 2014 the few remaining residents, and the temporary community of artists and property guardians who have inhabited the Balfron Tower over the past 4 four years, will depart in order to make way for the imminent refurbishment of this iconic building.

Since completing the MA Fine Art course at Chelsea in 2012, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous have undertaken a self-initiated work/live residency at Balfron Tower in London. Occupying two successive flats as property guardians, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous have spent the last two years amassing a living archive. At the invitation of Bow Arts Trust and in response to The Sensation of Space1 essays published by Ernö Goldfinger, architect of Balfron Tower, Alan McFetridge, Harriet Cooper, Sinead Bligh, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous are co-hosting this Open Studios event. This month two comparative selections from the archive are distributed simultaneously from Flat 15 and 12 as free newspapers. The act of publishing what would otherwise remain hidden offers a much needed critique of life as a property guardian in London. Intended to spark debate, this circulation seeks to challenge current legislation and ultimately to affect change in the world. 2014 also witnessed the donation of all the work James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous produced, as well as acquired from other artists over the previous fifteen years. The invisible archive, to which the donation refers, in tandem with the living archive, form the basis for Lander’s practice-based PhD. His current research is motivated by and seeks to reformulate the dynamic between altruism, psychological egoism and the hintergedanke ‘ulterior motive.’2

James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous 2014-2018 PhD Fine Art practice-based candidates Chelsea College of Arts University of the Arts London

Is it 28 pages with a memory / fragment on each page?
James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous
PhD Fine Art practice-based candidates
Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon College of Arts
University of the Arts London

Work by Harriet Cooper

Alan McFetridge
Haymaker (2014)
Inkjet media on self adhesive polypropelene
244 x 540.6 cm

Work by Sinéad Bligh

Sinéad Bligh
Epistemological Maquette (2014)
Toilet bowl, toilet seat, sound piece on MP3 player and headphones; duration 06:59 min looped

1Goldfinger, E. (1941) The Sensation of Space. The Architectural Review, Nov, pp.129-131.

2 Weiss, E. (1995) Pons-Kompaktwörterbuch Englisch – Deutsch. Stuttgart: Klett Verlag für Wissen und Bildung. p.214