Gillian Dyson

Not at Home by Gillian Dyson


What happens when I introduce a number of ordinary things into the museum context? These things include objects that exist day-to-day in my home and studio such as kitchen utensils, items of small furniture or bric-à-brac. The intention is for these ‘non art objects’ to enter a dialogue with curated objects of the museum. The work is not certain but develops from an archive of gesture and object responding to the context of ‘assembly’. A responsive choreography will draw attention to slowness and placing, troubling the physical relationship created through the function of carrying and holding. Voicing might not be ‘word’ based but rather small oral responses to the space, action and object.

The project is an opportunity to extend my questioning of body and object and particularly in how performance action disturbs normal understanding of the domestic object and the feminine body. There is an awareness of the work of historic feminist artists such as Martha Rosler. The context of the gallery offers a way to re-frame the action and objects in a formal setting and to further dislocate the relationship to the domestic. I am interested in questioning the ‘value’ of the art object and the socio-historic object, and in developing an aesthetic of the ordinary. The title alludes to being away from home – travelling perhaps; or to something foreign, but also to a sense of mental or physical instability – something uncanny. I hope that a discourse is prompted by the performance action that can further my research and provoke new thinking for me around how and why this work happens.

Gillian Dyson is a Yorkshire-based artist. Her work examines at ideas of place and identity. Her live and exhibition work have been shown internationally including the Konsthall Gothenburg, and Tetley Leeds. Gillian is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University. She is undertaking PhD research with University of Glasgow and is currently investigating the use of body and domestic objects in performance as an exploration of the uncanny and unhomely.