Spiritual Evaporations
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Grace Williams

“Spiritual Evaporations”

Williams uses a broad and embracing approach, encompassing a variety of media. The photographs are luxurious and seductive, as well as fragmented, uncertain. Williams’ work positions itself at a cusp, best described as that moment when something might flare into revelation. This current body of work, which centres around the 19th century preoccupation with spiritualism, might be seen to operate as a variety of punning strategies to draw out the many possibilities and limits of the word ‘appear’, from its uneasy relationship with authenticity to the flourish of its conjuring authority. Or perhaps the word is ‘staged’ for its blurring of the power of theatricality, eliding it with fakery. The meaning wavers. “Inspiration for my work often transpires when looking to the past and a preeminent theme that has consistently materialized is that of nostalgia. Using fragments of history, which carry with them a sense of curiosity or theatre as an underlying source; I develop and construct complex narratives that are conveyed through ambiguous visual counterpoints. Encompassing film, photography, print, installation and sound my broad ranging approach is often married by the use of my own image through performance. Subjects of discourse in history often spark my interest and my recent work developed whilst exploring the archival photographic collections, surrounding spiritualism and spiritual ectoplasm. This research culminated in a large scale hoax of memorabilia and archival evidence based on the invented figure Cyd Brice, a 1900s Ziegfeld Folly. The entire piece was constructed to overtly provoke questions surrounding the unassailable relationship between museum displays and the projection of fabricated narratives, alongside my ongoing interest in the variable nature of my own identity.”

Digital Photography

W: 86 H: 68 D: 4 cm