Graduate Artist in Residence 2015-16: Mani Kambo & Hope Stebbing

In 2015 Mani Kambo and Hope Stebbing were awarded Tyneside Cinema’s second graduate artist residency in partnership with Northumbria University. During their time with us they created a work which brings together their individual practices in sculpture and moving image.

The Moon And Sixpence combines film and sculpture to articulate their mutual interest in space and the urban environment. The work is focused on the object of the screen and the process of projected images. The screen is formed of perforated metal which is used as an emblem of decay and regeneration. The projected images are created through layering textures and materials of industrial and regeneration sites visited whilst on residency.

Kambo and Stebbing play with the ’idea’ of cinema and experiment with the relationship between the projector and the screen. Referring to the relatively recent decline of 35mm film to digital formats and its effect on the cinematic experience from an object, (the roll of film) and physical experience (projection), to a more fleeting moment of inconceivable data (digital files). The installation of sculpture and film investigates this relationship and highlights the tension between screen and film.

About the artist

Mani Kambo is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne where she grew up surrounded by Sikh tradition and ritual. Kambo is drawn to everyday rituals and precautionary actions taken from superstitions. They hold meaning and power for the artist having been passed down through the generations. Kambo recreates ritual gestures like drawing a black dot behind your left ear or casting a cup of water around the head in a circular motion. Her work records movement and documents performative actions – the hand that creates the action, fire that reveals, water which is the purifier and eyes that perceive. These visuals are repeated throughout her work like markers linking to notions of spirituality, rebirth and the cyclical nature of life and death and reaching beyond our current existence. Kambo creates films that transport you through exploration of totemic objects and symbolic action. Through layering and editing images together she collages narratives and weaves dreamscapes. The projector’s ephemeral light rays manifest the conscious and subconscious allowing the viewers to immerse themselves in the work like stepping into a dream. Printmaking is rooted in Kambo’s family history of being tailors and fabric print makers. She creates fabric screens to hold her projections as well as prints from the imagery within her films. Cyanotypes hold an alchemic quality; images are created by exposure to light then revealed through washing the image in water. The ritualistic method used in printmaking can also be seen in her films through the use of reoccurring symbols and imagery as each element flows between print and moving image whether physically in the creation of the work or on screen.

Hope Stebbing is a visual artist based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Hope Stebbing’s work is primarily sculptural with an interest in the duality of language. She investigates the urban environment and sites of regeneration, often taking standardised objects and forms from industry and the urban landscape and subverting them through the alteration of context and material. Her work aims to question areas of tension rooted in today’s society: enquiries into the role and function of the private sector and civic space. She asks you to imagine an environment that listens to the past of site and speaks to its future aspirations, one that’s inclusive of history through the use of materials; addressing its ambitions through colour and form.

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