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Francesca Capone & Carolyn Thompson



Artists Francesca Capone & Carolyn Thompson present their respective bodies of work and take questions from the audience.

Francesca Capone

American artist Francesca Capone presents Weaving Language, an interdisciplinary long-term work, which has taken the form of multiple exhibitions, publications, and performances since 2012, supported by institutions such as the MoMA Library, Printed Matter Inc., Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Brown University, and information as material press. The project focuses on textiles as a longstanding but often overlooked medium for record keeping, storytelling, and poetry. The most recent installment, Weaving Language II: Language is Image, Paper, Code, & Cloth has just released as a book in an edition of 500, launching through the MoMA PS1 performance space & shop ArtBook, as well as through events at Printed Matter’s NYABF and the Bard Graduate Center’s pop-up textile-themed library hosted by NY grass-roots institution Wendy’s Subway. Through collecting and mapping over 40 academic texts and artist projects addressing global instances of textile-as-language dating back to the beginning of recorded history, Capone exercises through writing style the very medium that she is celebrating. She expounds on the poetic space between textiles and writing, inviting the reader to participate in her thinking and practice. Commonplace understandings of the history of writing are teased apart, then gathered and rewoven back together through a lens that focuses on the feminine, using the woven form as a vehicle for the written word.

Francesca Capone is a visual artist, poet, and textile designer. Her books, Woven Places (2018), Text means Tissue (2017)and Weaving Language (2015, 2018) focus on textile poetics, and are both in the collection at the MoMA library. She is a represented artist at Nationle in Portland, OR, and has exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery in London, LUMA/Westbau in Switzerland, as well as Textile Arts Center and 99¢ Plus Gallery in NYC. She has been an artist in residence at the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation, Andrea Zittel's A-Z West, and the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. More of her published work can be found through information as material and Printed Matter, as well as in The New Concrete from Hayward Press. Her academic work includes lectures and workshops at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Reed College, among others.

Carolyn Thompson

“For the INSIDE/OUT lecture I will begin by talking about my love of books, my discovery of semiotics and what initially set my work on the path it has followed.

I will give a brief synopsis of the themes and general interests behind my work, these being: romance and sentimentality; structure and architecture; alteration, manipulation and adaptation; and the intimacy of the book, reading and writing. I will also talk about the physical format the resulting works take: text works, drawings, collage, sculpture and installation.

Following this I will mention the commission Folie a Deux at Shandy Hall as this may link with Francesca’s work, and contribute to our later discussion.

I will then talk about the Great Loves body of work, produced in 2014, which was based upon the Penguin box set of the same name. This encompassed a variety of works including prints, drawings, collages and sewn pieces, all based on the contents of individual books from the collection. I will also mention the installation The Beast in Me at this point as an alternative installed piece of work.

Finally I will discuss/show examples of a new body of work that I am in the process of creating, for a touring show in London and also going to Shandy hall in late 2019 or early 2020. This body of work is based on the Penguin Modern series. It comprises 50 artworks, based on 50 books by 50 different writers, all adhering roughly to the page format of the original, but completely different in format from one another, each created by allowing the content to lead the concept of the adaptation.”

Carolyn Thompson (born 1976) is a visual artist living and working in the UK. Her research is grounded in the materiality of printed matter, both as an object and as a medium. Using found texts, images and documents as source material she explores the content or narrative of such matter through manipulation and appropriation, and develops it into new renderings, in order to alter meaning and understanding of the information at its most fundamental level. The resulting adaptations become altered books, drawings, prints, collages and/or installations. Beyond the UK she has exhibited in Istanbul, Ljubljana, Melbourne, New York, Porto, Prague, Venice and Vienna.

Carolyn Thompson is represented by Eagle Gallery, London

About The INSIDE/OUT Lecture Series

This lecture was presented as part of the INSIDE/OUT series which offers historical, theoretical and critical analyses of the art, architecture and design. Organised by Professor Simon Morris from the School of Art, Architecture & Design, the series offers a platform for internationally recognised practitioners to come and talk about their practice. All events are open to all.

Click here for more events from the series.