CV & Artist Statement

hw-profile

 

Heidi Wigmore : Artist

London, UK
heidiwigmore1@tiscali.co.uk

My practice is drawing based (for me, drawing is ‘live’), imagery is overtly figurative but dislocated; the impulse of the work is to challenge, resist and subvert cultural norms of female experience.

Alongside studio-based works on paper, the drawing extends to installation in/on empty buildings and structures and large scale banners and billboards as public artworks. I have exploited the transformative potential of the drawn image in outdoor space and its performative and participatory possibilities as work made in the public realm.

I also explore the illusory aspects of drawing directly on to small found objects as personal relics or talismans such as spoons, shoes and gloves: symbolic objects of the feminine.

I use drawing for its directness and immediacy: I’m interested in how the ‘lifeless’ can seem to be made ‘live’. My subject is often the doll or mannequin which I use as a metaphor for alienation or control – silently compliant but a vital presence. These objects may function as secular ‘i-dols’ – they are lifelike yet lifeless, realistic yet unreal. I am fascinated by the Germanic ‘Romantic Grotesque’ with its tradition for dolls as human substitutes in the literary imagination, where the dummy seems to reflect back to us the fallibility of the human condition.

I have had privileged access to world-class dancers, leading artist workshops with English National Ballet. Dynamic, autonomous female figures have always been prominent in my work. I’ve recently returned to drawing from life working with the East London Strippers Collective who run ‘life drawing’ events in response to the old performing venues having been shut down by the creeping corporatism of the east end of London. The ‘modern bodies’ of the strippers, pole dancers Shibari performers I’ve been drawing have much in common with the ballet dancers; all make use of repetitive ritualized gestures and are supremely self-confident in expressing themselves through the perfected/enhanced female body. The resulting drawings challenge traditional notions of ‘life drawing’.

I often work with appropriation: I’m interested in how the images ‘choose me’ as if they are forcing themselves upon me which results in my playing out various psychological dramas as self-actualisation…

I have 20 years experience as a Fine Art lecturer, informed by my role as an active artist and the diversity of my work experience eg gallery based education and the particular challenge of prison education. I am currently Artist Workshop Leader with English National Ballet and lecturer in contemporary drawing at The City Lit. Recent freelance projects include ‘Lines of Thought’ with The British Museum at Hull City of Culture and ‘History of the Hoo Peninsula’ with the writer Rachel Lictenstein (Rodinsky’s Room, On Brick Lane).

I’m interested in risk and resourcefulness, trajectories rather than arrivals: a spirit of endeavour permeates my work and life. I am well travelled, having made a number of long term solo trips through Asia and Central America and have lived and worked in France, The Virgin Islands and Taiwan. i have documented these experiences in two books: ‘Skin, Ribs and Hips’ and ‘Wanderlust: a Travel Sketchbook’.

EDUCATION

2001 University of East London: MA Fine Art
1998 South Essex College: PGCE
1985 Norwich School of Art: BA hons Printmaking

SELECTED APPOINTMENTS

2016-17 Whitstable Biennale Histories of the Hoo Peninsula Assistant Project manager

2016 Estuary Festival Sound of the Thames Delta Project manager

2015-current The City Lit Lecturer Contemporary Drawing

2012-current English National Ballet Artist workshop leader
2012-current Anglia Ruskin University Visiting Lecturer
2012-2017 Arts Council England Artistic Quality Assessor
2011-current METAL Artist Workshop Leader
2011 METAL: ’End of Term’ Arts Festival Project Manager
2009-10 University of Essex Course Leader BA hons Fine Art
2001-09  South Essex College Lecturer BA Fine Art, Foundation Diploma
2004-11  Focal Point Gallery Artist workshop leader
2004-05  HMP Bullwood Hall Artist workshop leader
1998 -current Synchro Studios Co-founder, Chairperson

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017 Something Blue: Cultivate Gallery

Platform 15: Leydon Gallery

Dummy: solo show METAL

2016 Mind Control Tower: Installation Coalhouse Fort Estuary Festival

2015 Changing Room: Solo show Shout Media

2014
Draw 14: Society of Graphic Fine Art Mernier Gallery
The Discerning Eye: The Mall Galleries
The Contortionists: Installation Village Green Festival

2013
On the Line: METAL
The Doll Said: Installation TAP Gallery

2011
This is Not a School: ‘Glittering Prize and Punishment’ Five Years
The Real Strumps Solo Show: White Wall Space
Deconstruction Project: Homeless Gallery
Neopolitan Festival of Britain: Southbank Centre
Pier: AVA Gallery University of East London

2010
Lecture Hall FREE SCHOOL: Five Years Gallery
Making it/Faking it: Orleans House Gallery
Cliffhanger: Synchro
Assessment Criterion: Campus Gallery South Essex College

2009
As Crows Fly: (artist/curator) Coexist Gallery
Sideshow: Village Green METAL

2008 
Love: Faux Gallery
Project Lulu: METAL

2005 Line: Campus Gallery South Essex College
2004 Its a Beautiful Noise: Synchro Studios
2003 A Room with a View: Atelier Gallery
2001 Last Chance Saloon: East London Gallery
2000 Blush: Underwood St Gallery
1999 On the Shelf: Firstsite
1998 Studio in a Square: Firstsite
1992 Pullit 2: Camden Lock
1990-92 Cooltan
1988-92 Cable St Studios
1989 Portobello Open
1988 ‘Earth Songs’ Young Unknowns

SELECTED PROJECTS

2017 Dummy Artist Residency: METAL

Histories of the Hoo Peninsula: Artist workshop leader Whitstable Biennial

Lines of Thought: Artist workshop Leader British Museum, University of Hull

2016 Estuary Festival: Artist Lab

2015 The Dance Within Us: Live Drawing Workshop Tate Liverpool, ENB

Anti-Fashionistas: Installation and drawing event Village Green Festival METAL

The Big Painting Challenge: Specialist contributor BBC (broadcast 15/3/2015)

2014
The Contortionists: Installation and drawing event Village Green Festival METAL

2013
The Doll Said: Soundtrack collaboration as ‘Angstrom’ with David Noble
LifeCycle: mass participation drawing event Village Green Festival funded by  European Cycling Friendly Cities/METAL
Play Southend: Drawing game project, contributing artist
Switch Ideas Lab Pacitti Company: Participating artist
English National Ballet: Live drawing events (lead artist) at The Coliseum
On the Line: Museum project Hassenbrook School
Essex Arts Grant: Look the Doll in the Eye
TAP Gallery Project Space: ‘The Doll Said’ drawing installation

2012
English National Ballet: Live drawing event (lead artist) at The Coliseum
Arts Council Award ‘INDEPENDENT FREE STATE’: Artist Billboard Project
CultureLab Protest and Propaganda: Participating artist Metal
Artist Residency Tortola British Virgin Islands: Jan/Feb
Arts Council Assessor: 2012-2013

2011
‘Still’ Artist led workshops: Metal Southend on Sea
End of Term: Project Manager/Curator – Arts Festival Metal Southend on Sea
Festival of Britain 60th Anniversary: Customised Beach Huts Commissioned Artist Southbank Centre London
WOW Festival ‘Superstrumps’: female stereotypes project Southbank Centre London
Womans Hour Radio 4 ‘Superstrumps’: live launch 13.3.11

2010
Coexist Gallery Artist led Workshops: Artist Development Programme
Showflat: The von Heil Haus: Solo show, a METAL project
Village Green: ‘Cover Versions’ METAL Southend on Sea
TEFLTASTIC: Drawing performance Lecture Hall Series Ladies of the Press/Five Years – Bethnal Green Library London
Cliffhanger: Artist Curator Group show – Leighcliff Buildings Leigh on Sea
Subject to Recall: Artist Curator Site specific group show – Southend Museum/Library

2009 First Site 15 Artists 15 Days: Live installation project

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2017 Scenario: Collaborators and Hecklers – Performative Pedagogy and Interruptive Processes

http://publish.ucc.ie/journals/scenario/2017/01/Campbell/05/en#F2

2016 Review of ‘Mind Control Tower’ Estuary Festival Vice.com

https://creators.vice.com/en_uk/article/englands-mind-control-tower-war-history

2013
Interview re Superstrumps ’Imaginations’ – Journal of Cross Cultural Image Studies
https://www3.csj.ualberta.ca/imaginations/?p=4823

The Guardian 11.7.13 On the Line: Creating a museum of the Thames Estuary
http://www.theguardian.com/education/gallery/2013/jul/11/on-the-line-exhibition

2012
This is Not a School: Five Years Gallery http://www.fiveyears.org.uk/thisisnotaschool/THIS%20IS%20NOT%20A%20SCHOOL/PROGRAMME/slots/14/14.html

2011 
Showflat: Metal Book Edition
The Times Art/Architecture Supplement 23.4.11

The Sabotage Times: April 2011
http://www.sabotagetimes.com/life/happy-holidays-a-celebration-of-all-things-summery/

TheWomensRoom
http://thewomensroom.typepad.com/the_womens_room/2011/04/buy-this-super-strumps.html

Oh Comely Magazine: May 2011
http://www.ohcomely.co.uk/post.php?id=182

a-n Magazine: May issue Review- Scintilla, Coexist Gallery
http://www.a-n.co.uk/interface/reviews/single/1221514

Level 4 Magazine: Review- Showflat solo show

2010
Level 4 Magazine: Interview- Showflat solo show
Corporeal: Catalogue introduction Campus Gallery Southend in Sea
15 Artists 15 Days: Documentation of residency First Site Colchester

2008 
DIY Portfolio Building for Fine Art: University of Essex/The Creative Way
The Guardian Weekend: creative writing commission

2007 ARTUNEED: A Manifesto for the Public Realm- Bob and Roberta Smith, Commissions East

AWARDS, COMMISSIONS

2016 Estuary Festival Commission Mind Control Tower multi-media installation

2014 Outdoor Media Ltd Sponsorship ‘The Controtionists’ Village Green Festival

2013 METAL Commission ‘One the Line’

2013 Essex County Council Artist Grant ‘The Doll Saw’

2012 Arts Council England ‘Independent Free State’

2012 BBC  Set artwork, commissions ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Get Well Soon’ CBBS
2011 Southbank Centre WOW Festival Commission ‘Superstrumps’

2011  Southbank Centre Festival of Britain Commission Shell Grotto
2010  Artinsite Permanent lightbox installation Southend University Hospital
2007-2010  BBC  Set artwork for Redbee Media