Clare Fleming, Jill McIntosh, Shelley Simpson

St Paul St Gallery 3

21-24 March 2022

Shelley Simpson matter feeling (iteration 2), 2022

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Shelley Simpson matter feeling, 2022

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Shelley Simpson Can't live without you, 2022

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Jill McIntosh, Fields of Matter, 2022

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Clare Fleming  SUFUSU: crying habit 2022  SUFUSU: Swimming lessons 2022

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Clare Fleming Smiling rehearsal 2022 Transmission with crying selfie 2022

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The performance is not for you. It is private. It is for me. It is for my children. My children are the audience. You are just a bystander. A witness to the rehearsal. As I obsess over the techniques of this everyday performance of mothering I ask: How am I doing? Is it going well? How can I do it better? You do not answer this. My children are the feedback. It is between us. Yet, this self-critique is developed outside our intimate relation. It is fostered through the image of the mother that has come to me from you. From outside the inside. Leaking in through the imagery we construct and maintain. These habitual, inherited performances lead us to our beliefs about what it should be, what it shouldn’t be. But not necessarily what it could be. Cuts must be made.

The selfie points to the performance of a communicative action rather than the semantic object of the photograph. It says not only "see this, here, now," but also "see me showing you me."  By performing these reproduced skins on the body in public, this communication moves beyond foregrounding the I as other to itself, taking the performance from the private to the thrum of the public domain while remaining within the act of mothering. I wonder how this 'costume' made of my failures might work like a schiz; A cut to break through the everyday route behaviours of the body, allowing the potentials that sit below the surface to arise.

Clare Fleming SUFUSU: Swimming lessons (detail) 2022

Suspension, in my practice, is a pause or shift in awareness that opens up the potential for difference. It exists as an indeterminate event in space and time where a shift in the perception of direction and experience allows for new variations. The matter I use exists in a lagging time as it is explored in events. Moments recorded by my hand remain active within a past and a future. They are suspended, floated, lifted, translated, caught and released, not as fixed moments, but as dust, pigment and charcoal powder bound through a medium and held through cellulose, cotton fibre and evaporating water. This is experiential. A window light casts a moving shadow over the water causing reflected light to be thrown onto the wall - over the charcoal and paper - while water drips. This is a pause or shift in awareness that opens up the potential for difference.

My hand acts, as O’Sullivan writing on Bergson suggests, ‘like a point or a probe that is moving through matter and which is itself part of the very matter through which it moves’. (Simon O’Sullivan 2013, 165). There is constant movement within this duration – matter within matter. Suspension is barely perceived as it is an alteration, or a hesitation. New events are experienced within an action. Does the human/ non-human relationship with matter, suspension and fluidity function, move, feel and morph in relation to time and care in our situational world? Is this perpetual, with a past and present?

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Jill McIntosh In-Act 2022

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What can an art practice become if the object is not the goal but the activator?

How can microscopic imagery foster an intimate relational empathy?

Donna Haraway argues that post-modern visualisation techniques are without apparent limit, that vision “in this technological feast becomes unregulated gluttony” with “cameras for every purpose” (Stacey Alaimo 2019, 404).


As a tool, microscopic imagery is used primarily as a source of understanding for the purpose of taxonomic categorisation.

Can the intimate imaging of these materials be understood as the closeness of cohabitants rather than as objects of investigation?


Key to this project is the new materialist idea that distinct entities and identities do not precede an event, but rather emerge through their intra-action. The field of relations includes the human participants as they move through the space, each human body a complexity of it’s own relations. Subjectivity always newly becoming.

Shelley Simpson, SEM iron, 2021