11 July – 30 October 2016
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Trip (the light fantastic) is a new free exhibition at Tate Britain bringing together three film works by London-based artist-filmmaker Sophie Michael (b.1985). The 16mm films will be projected in sequence in the darkened Art Now gallery, blending kaleidoscopic imagery, flickering lights and ephemeral flashes. In these works the artist examines how the moving image can artificially stage a sense of nostalgia and innocence, creating films which explore our relationship to the past through the lens of the present.
The earliest of the three works, 99 Clerkenwell Road 2010, was shot at night in an empty shop. It shows colourful circular shapes gliding across the silent darkened space, recalling early experimental and abstract films, and intermittently reveals elements of the urban world outside.
Chapters One to Five 2012 features a nine year old protagonist called Astrid who acts as the artist’s fictional younger self. Inspired by the idealistic lifestyle shown in mid-twentieth century educational and marketing films, the work presents Astrid reading books and making mobiles in a reconstructed nostalgic interior.
Michael’s newest work, The Watershow Extravaganza 2016, shows a choreographed display of water, music and light at Watermouth Castle theme park. Originally built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, the attraction was moved to North Devon in the 1980s and is here used by Michaels to explore the alluring nature of a tired but visionary past.
Sophie Michael lives and works in London. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She was the recipient of The Arts Bursary of the British School at Athens, 2012, and The Artist’s Cut, a Northern Film & Media commission in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2014. Her work has been shown at group exhibitions and screenings including Wavelengths, 36th Toronto International Film Festival in 2011; SWITCH, Baltic 39 in 2012; Chromotherapeutic Strips, Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2012; Young London, V22, London in 2012; Ericka Beckman: Image Games - Work in Context, Tate Modern in 2013; 27th Images Festival, Toronto in 2014; Distressed Geometry, Kunstraum Baden in 2015. Solo exhibitions include Attica, Seventeen Gallery, London in 2013 and Daphne (Purple Red), Sunday Art Fair, London in 2014.
Art Now is an ongoing series of free exhibitions at Tate Britain focusing on new and recent work by emerging artists. Since the early 1990s, Art Now has recognised talent at its outset and provided a launching platform for artists who have gone on to become established figures in the international art scene. The series has recently included the group exhibitions Vanilla and Concrete and The Weight of Data.
Art Now: Sophie Michael: Trip (the light fantastic) is curated by Elsa Coustou, Assistant Curator, Contemporary British Art and Isabella Maidment, Assistant Curator, Performance.
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