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Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan – A Proposal To Ask Where Does A Threshold Begin & End


4 March 2017 - 31 December 2017

London and Newcastle-based artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan use many media, frequently making large ‘beast-like’ structures that are hand-painted in vibrant palettes and cartoon faces. Their works appear to be simple and exuberant but often provoke complex discussion around identity and representations of place.

They are creating a temporary public work, a series of photographs and a text, throughout 2017, in the context of our tenth anniversary. The first stage of this project consists of a proposal, shown in our atrium as a scale model. The maquette puts forward a large arch that forms a portal or threshold connecting our building with the space outside.

The form of this piece echoes the shape of the Tees Transporter Bridge. The brightly-coloured pattern incorporatesome of Middlesbrough and Teesside’s iconic cultural landmarks, including Anish Kapoor’s sculpture Temenos and Anglo-Saxon jewellery found at Loftus. By re-presenting these used and misused symbols of the area, the artists highlight discussions about who shapes the images of this region and how that links to a popular imagination of it.

Image credit: ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ 2014.  Plywood, timber, paint, audio recital.  Lochmaddy, North Uist. Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan. Photograph by Ruth Clark


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