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27 Jan 2012

Samantha Donnelly: Contour States at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Samantha Donnelly, As You Shed Your Beauty, We Will Continue to Project, 2011 (detail)

Samantha Donnelly: Contour States


Preview: Fri 27 January 18:00 - 21:00 Exhibition continues to Sun 25 March Gallery Open: Tue - Sat, 12:00 - 20:00
Sun, 12:00 - 18:00 Free entry


+44 (0)161 228 7621

70 Oxford Street
Manchester, M1 5NH

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Samantha Donnelly: Contour States

Cornerhouse is pleased to present the first major UK public solo show by British artist Samantha Donnelly. With a strong interest in images presented by today's media that continue to idealise and objectify the human form, Contour States comprises a collection of sculpture, photography, collage and drawings that explore representations of female identity in photography, TV, film and advertisements.

Underpinned by references to art history and popular culture, Donnelly's distinctive practice is concerned with breaking down subjects and reconfiguring them as new objects in an altered state. Contour States examines how the portrayal of women in media occupies our field of vision, permeates our memories and arguably shapes our future.

Strung forms of delicate, semi-painted plaster casts of mannequins, reminiscent of the mass-produced, generic and sexualised figures of the female body, are anchored into the architecture of the gallery through a series of eyelets and displayed alongside three-dimensional sculptures. These make reference to tabloid representations of women, created from silhouettes spray-painted with fake tan onto household cleaning cloths in various gradations of shades and lipstick, acrylic nails and other cosmetic products. By adding further layers of objects including buttons, lace, net, small mirrors, false eyelashes and ribbons, Donnelly provides the finished work with a fragmented and abstract quality - some pieces appear relic-like and precious, whereas others are seemingly transient and ephemeral, on the edge of dissolving.

Contour States creates an illusion of erotically charged nudity, but fundamentally only offers a fiction to buy into and invest in. Rather than just presenting a finalised work, Donnelly actively encourages her audience to engage with the process through which meanings are made and unmade.

About the Artist

Samantha Donnelly was born in Manchester in 1978 and lives and works in Greater Manchester.
Solo exhibitions include Bloc Projects, Workroom, Sheffield, 2011; Shoulder to Shoulder, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool 2011; and Compendium, Vitrine Gallery, London, 2010. Recent group exhibitions include The Shape We're In, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2011; Fabricatecstasy, Jake Studio 52 Hoxton Square, London, 2011; Perhaps Something, Perhaps Nothing, Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds, 2009; and Collage London/New York, FRED Gallery, London, 2009.

Also showing at Cornerhouse:

Lost is Found
Until Sun 19 February