Thought Positions in Sculpture: A curatorial research project

Rowan Bailey (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Thought Positions in Sculpture presents contemporary creative practitioners who have encountered the archive through the stories of their own practice. The physical exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery includes existing works of art loaned from Leeds Museums and Galleries Sculpture Collection, archival material from the Henry Moore Institute, digitised archival material from the Tate Gallery, audio material from the British Library and other archival sites, some of which are inventions by the artist themselves.

Intended as a starting point for thinking in, with and through the archive, the exhibition serves as a platform and context for different narratives of sculptural thinking. Over the duration of three months, written narratives were generated on a website alongside the physical work on display at Huddersfield Art Gallery.

All artists/creative practitioners who featured in the exhibition wrote 'thought positions' in response to the research process.

As a curator, I also wrote a piece entitled 'Reflections on Thought Positions in Sculpture'. The work outlines the curatorial strategies undertaken, the research methodology and motivations for using the exhibition environment as a research space for investigation and enquiry.

Details of written narratives on a website platform here -

A one-day symposium also accompanied the exhibition called Thought Positions: Between Sculpture and the Archive. This public event included speakers from Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Arts University, Henry Moore Institute and the Tate.

Details here -

A film of the project is here -

Thought Positions in Sculpture featured the following artists: Brass Art are an artist collective who explore the Freud Museum house, London as an archive site for capturing uncanny resonances through digital sculptural forms. Desmond Brett explores the notion of ‘assemblage’ through the photographic archives of Eileen Agar and Paul Nash. Liadin Cooke responds to the parallels of her own sculptural thinking in relation to Geoffrey Clarke (Leeds Sculpture Collection/Henry Moore Institute archive). Sheila Gaffney stages her own thought position through the object relations she believes are in play in the evolution of twentieth century British sculpture. Juliet MacDonald addresses Henry Fehr’s memorial ‘Head of Victory’ (Leeds Sculpture Collection). Nicola Redmore encounters some of the plaster works of Kenneth Armitage (Leeds Sculpture Collection) and digitised archival materials from the Tate Gallery. Hester Reeve listens to the audio interviews from the ‘Artists’ Lives’ project at the British Library to address the concept of ‘sculptural substance’. Lisa Stansbie explores a series of swimming machine patents from Google to produce her own sculptures. Jill Townsley, a sculptor influenced by serialisation, engages with the processes of making an archive through the retrieval of stones from the West Yorkshire landscape.

Curated by Dr Rowan Bailey

Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2015
EventThought Positions in Sculpture - Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Oct 20159 Jan 2016 (Link to Exhibition Details)


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  • Thought positions in Sculpture

    Redmore, N., Bailey, R., Townsley, J., Macdonald, A. & MacDonald, J., 17 Nov 2017

    Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

    Open Access

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