I am a London-based interdisciplinary artist working with fragments, detritus and recovered materials to conjure personas, stories, and worlds, as an exploration of portrait, biography and experience.
I create material and immaterial narrative installations using ingredients such as household items, personal possessions, the spoken and written word, found footage, schematics, speech-to-text transcripts, screen captures, memories, and data.
Influenced by my first career in cognitive psychology and experience design, as an artist, I am interested in how we comprehend new instances of a thing when it is made out of fractured, disrupted and interfering older instances; and how the freightedness of objects impacts that comprehension.
I work in longitudinal series that start innocuously and end up developing an unstoppable momentum and unforeseen longevity. Ongoing projects include: 900 Self Portraits Nr. XXX, (2019 and ongoing), a series of paper assemblages, currently numbering over 1000, that has become work without end; Nothing Matters Now, (2020 and ongoing), monthly sequential recordings of the first coherent thing I hear on the radio each morning, also work without end; They Can Say I Can’t Sing, (2019 and ad hoc), recordings of myself singing to favourite songs.
The 2020/21 pandemic sparked an interest in new paradigms for showing work. I asked myself if it matters how work is encountered and whether it is seen. The group exhibition, Unfinished Business, (2021), was held in a shell house only accessible by appointment with an estate agent. The data I collect about making 900 Self Portraits Nr. XXX, (2019 and ongoing) is available in an open-source spreadsheet. I actively seek out alternative locations, both physical and digital, in which to activate and explore my work.
I had the good fortune to receive much of my higher education when it was free or cheap. So I hold a BA (Hons) in Media Production (Bournemouth University, 2:i) and an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction (UCL, Distinction). I have often availed myself of the superb tutoring, and opportunity for learning new skills, on offer at CityLit College, London. My most recent educational foray was the Graduate Diploma in Fine Art (Chelsea College of Art, UAL, Distinction); expensive, but worth it. I am currently on the Turps MASS correspondence course.
I am a part of two artist collectives and have been a member of Riverside Artists Group since 2022.
My collaborative practice, with artist Mike Abrahams, centres on books, texts and libraries. Our work is participatory, responds to current events, and is supported by a sponsoring institution.
In First Words in Dalston (2020-23) we collated the first sentence of books contributed, as texts and voice recordings, by locals of Dalston CLR James Library in Dalston, East London, during the 2020/1 pandemic lockdowns. The sentences were painted onto hoardings in the Dalston Square and the recordings were played in a sound installation using the hoardings as speakers. It was a way of connecting the library with the public and the public with its library at a time when connections were both impossible and much needed.
In Worst of Times, Best of Times? (installed May 2022) we worked with Kensington Central Library, West London, to elicit people’s changing reading habits during and after the 2020/1 lockdowns. These contributions will be made into a visual artwork to be displayed in Kensington Central Library, with accompanying digital instances to be shown in the Borough’s six libraries.
For the 2022 Riverside Artists Group annual exhibition, Many Rivers to Cross, Mike and I created From Here to There to Here (2022). We collaborated with CityLit College in London, asking their students four questions about home and ancestry.
As a collector, I am primarily focussed on contemporary women artists. I like to build a rapport through a genuine interest in their practices and ways of thinking. I number Fleur Deakin, Lindsay Mapes, and emerging artists Alicia Velazquez and Claire Parker in my collection.
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If you would like to know more about my work or arrange a studio visit, please message me on Instagram @francesca.giuliano.here.