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In the summer of 2018, Jane and Louise Wilson traveled to South Korea's Gapado Island to partake in an artist residency program, as part of a broader initiative to preserve the island’s environmental and cultural values.  Gapado Island is a carbon-free island dedicated to maintaining a sustainable ecosystem.

 

In a series of new photographic work printed on metallic photo rag paper, the imagery depicts sea urchins intertwined with island landscapes, lava rock stacks and deserted sites which were once shrines. Shrine worship is an aspect of shamanism on Gapado Island that is an integral part of the elderly generation’s traditions, notably the extraordinary group of female Haeneyo free divers who make their living harvesting and selling seafood. It is a practice that exemplifies their sister-like bond-- when they are together, they share everything. Due to the dangers inherent in free-diving and the changing tides of women in the workplace, their cherished tradition is in jeopardy.

 

This new body of work serves to investigate and demonstrate the psychic intersection between defensive architecture and Shaman shrines-- further expanding upon their publicly sited video installation, Suspended Island, 2018. In this work, the artists explored the relationship between the Houses of Parliament, Trinity House in Newcastle, and the abandoned coastal fortifications on Governors Island off the coast of Manhattan. Their video installation questions the impact of power and invisibility within historical memory. The multi-screen format creates a stereoscopic experience of physical space that connects spectacle with sites of historical power and uncovers recent ideological structures which have since been abandoned or left in a state of social neglect. 

 

“The Island is a creature, that paws all my greatest fears, and sets me free.” 

As spoken by the author Vesna Maric in Suspended Island, 2018. 

264 Seaweed Urchin #4

Jane & Louise Wilson

Untitled #4 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’

2019

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper

43 x 43 inches (109.2 x 109.2 cm)

Edition of 4

JLW 264

 

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263 SHAMAN #1

Jane & Louise Wilson

Untitled #1 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper

60 x 43 inches (152.4 x 109.2 cm)

Edition of 4

JLW 263

 

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265 Pagoda and Stroller #3

Jane & Louise Wilson

Untitled #3 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper

43 x 43 inches (109.2 x 109.2 cm)

Edition of 4

JLW 265

 

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266 Scarecrow and slide #9

Jane & Louise Wilson

Untitled #9 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper

60 x 43 inches (152.4 x 109.2 cm)

Edition of 4

JLW 266

 

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video new

JLW 272 #2

Jane and Louise Wilson

Untitled #2 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’  

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper with acrylic paint silk screen

13 3/8 x 16 3/8 inches (33.9 x 41.7 cm)
16 1/2 x 23 3/8 inches (41.9 x 59.4 cm) paper size

Edition of 6

JLW 272

 

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JLW 275 #5

Jane and Louise Wilson

Untitled #5 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’  

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper with acrylic paint 

43 x 43 inches (109.2 x 109.2 cm)

Unique

JLW 275

 

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JLW 276 #6

Jane and Louise Wilson

Untitled #6 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’  

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper with metallic acrylic paint silk screen 

23 3/8 x 16 1/2 inches (41.9 x 59.4 cm)

Edition of 6

JLW 276

 

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JLW 278 #8

Jane and Louise Wilson

Untitled #8 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’  

2020

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper and metallic acrylic paint silk screen 

16 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches (41.9 x 41.9 cm)

Edition of 10

JLW 278

 

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JLW 279 #10

Jane and Louise Wilson

Untitled #10 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’

2020 

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper

43 x 43 inches (109.2 x 109.2 cm)

Edition of 4

JLW 279

 

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262 Seadivers #7

Jane & Louise Wilson

Untitled #7 'I'd Walk With You But Not With Her’

2018

Pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper

42 7/8 x 42 1/4 inches (108.9 x 107.3 cm)

43 7/8 x 43 7/8 inches (111.4 x 111.4 cm) framed

Edition of 4

JLW 262

 

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video - suspended island edit

Jane and Louise Wilson

Suspended Island

2018

Video installation with two channels of video (color, sound), two LCD screens

Left screen: 157 1/2 x 118 1/8 inches (400 x 300 cm)

Right screen: 118 1/8 x 157 1/2 inches (300 x 400 cm)

Edition of 2, with 1 AP

JLW 258

Installation at Low Yard via Live Garden, Live Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2018

 

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Suspended Island is a meditation on site, through film material recorded in 1999 and 2004. The film weaves together footage from Governors Island and the Palace of Westminster, alongside animation featuring mummified turtles housed inside Trinity House, and graffiti in the form of condensed haikus that are part of a newly commissioned text by the author Vesna Maric, who came to the U.K. as a refugee from Bosnia–Herzegovina in 1992. 

 

The installation incorporates previously unreleased footage filmed in Governors Island (2004) and Parliament (1999), alongside images examining dereliction, community and a fossilized notion of Brethren. The soundtrack on Suspended Island riffs with the Calvinist hymn “We've Sighted the Golden Gate,” taken from a 1948 recording sung by the artist’s grandmother and her siblings.

 

The camera focuses on abandoned diving boards, and a discarded painting of paper boats floating over a giant ghost ship, beneath an image of a giant sailor holding balloons as he strides across Governors Island to Manhattan. 

 

These pictures contrast with the bleak interiors of the bowling alley, and its remnants of “normal” leisure activities: bowling shoes and children’s bantam leagues notices. The strange, out of place-ness of seeing a Burger King sign on the restaurant's floor add to these moments of tangible abstraction of material and place of an island, suspended in time.

Suspended Island INST 2018

Suspended Island, 2018
Installation view: Low Yard via Live Garden, Live Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2018

Commissioned By BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art In Partnership With The Great Exhibition Of The North

Jane and Louise Wilson were born in Newcastle and received their MAs at Goldsmiths College of Art, London. They began working together in 1989 and were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999. In 2018, their multi-channel video installation Stasi City, 1997, was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Solo exhibitions include The Getty Center, Los Angeles; Imperial War Museum, London; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, UK; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; the British Film Institute Gallery, London; and Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal. They have been included in recent group exhibitions at Royal Academy, London; BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; and Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland. The artists live and work in London. 

For more information on Jane and Louise Wilson please click here.