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July 2021: Playing with precarity, conjuring up common ground

A review of Matter Out of Place exhibition, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield 17 June to 10 July 2021

by Gillian Whiteley, Artist/Bricoleuse

Times out of joint, matter out of place 

There is something enchanting about entering the cavernous exhibition space populated with the tangle of materials and wondrous array of objects that is Material Voice’s Matter Out of Place. Like a small animal asleep, a skein of dark hair, bound with nylon mesh, lies limp on the windowsill. Is it breathing, is it alive? Through the vast shopfront window of the Yorkshire Artspace, passers-by peer in at an assemblage of objects created by Burton Street artists arranged on a tall table. Resembling a crazy magician’s set of props, wooden blocks are decorated with bright splashes of paint and day-glo pipe-cleaners, a green ball balances precariously on a luminous orange plastic yarn cone. An assortment of linked objects perch high up on a ledge: small wooden shapes tied up with string are attached to a jagged twig with a bright orange ball that surveys the space like a living watchful antennae.  A little further along, a surreal object catches the eye: the cardboard box, one of Clee Claire Lee’s Utters, ‘Utter II’, appears to be sprouting wiry pubic hair. Perhaps this is yet another sign of life, stuttering, heckling, sniggering. 

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June 2021: Film by Laura Page

Laura Page’s film ‘Inertia versus Transfiguration’ was made in response to Material Voice’s exhibition, ‘Matter Out of Place’. It is inspired by the materials, textures and surfaces of the artists’ work, their role as a conduit for experiences and ideas and the ways in which the artists have adapted their ways of working and connecting during the pandemic.

The film is about changes in our rhythm of life, perceptions and our relationships to others and the objects around us. It nods to the tensions between freedom and imprisonment, frustration and liberty, loneliness and inner peace/spirituality, all of which we can feel at the same time and with great intensity, particularly with the ebbs and flows following a life-changing event.

Material Voice’s exhibition Matter Out of Place continues at Yorkshire Artspace‘s Persistence Works gallery until 10th July 2021. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am – 5pm.


June 2021: ‘Matter Out of Place’ opens

View of ‘Matter Out of Place’ in the Persistence Works Gallery
Sculpture by Gillian Brent, wall works by artists from Artworks South Yorkshire
Photo: Laura Page

Material Voice’s exhibition Matter Out of Place opens at Yorkshire Artspace‘s Persistence Works gallery on 17th June and runs until 10th July 2021. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am – 5pm.

Preview and film screening – Wednesday 23rd June, 5pm – 8pm.

This event will be the first chance to see a new film, made by Material Voice member Laura Page of her interpretation of the exhibition. The film will be available to view online after the event.

To book a place at the socially distanced event please click on this Eventbrite link.


April 2021: Upcoming Exhibition

Matter Out of Place artists’ exchange, 2021. Mixed media.
Photo: Kate Langrish-Smith

Material Voice are excited to announce their upcoming exhibition ‘Matter Out of Place’.

The exhibition will take place at Yorkshire Artspace Persistence Works Gallery, 17th June – 10th July 2021.

Matter Out of Place explores questions of disruption, control, risk and trust; finding ways to navigate through a global pandemic, to support and nurture artists with differing viewpoints and audiences missing physical interaction with each other and with art. 

Matter Out of Place will be a collaborative production of works by Gillian Brent, Mandy Gamsu, Kate Langrish-Smith, Clee Claire Lee, Laura Page and Sarah Villeneau, and artists from Artworks South Yorkshire and Burton Street Arts.


March 2021: BOX3

BOX3, also known as The Slow Box is the latest pandemic friendly exchange collaboration by five Material Voice artists. It was initiated by Mandy Gamsu in November and has been passing from artist to artist, with each artist responding to, reworking and adding to what they receive.

Find out more about BOX3 here


September 2020 – BOX2

BOX2 was the second Material Voice Covid-secure collaboration, exploring new ways of sharing ideas and working together. Gillian Brent initiated the process and made a box which was passed in turn to Sarah Villeneau, Kate Langrish-Smith, Mandy Gamsu and Clee Claire Lee.

Find out more about BOX2 here


June 2020 – The BOX

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown the projects that the Material Voice artists were planning for 2020 were put on hold or just disappeared.

In mid April 2020 the artists agreed to find ways to recalibrate the practices and dissemination of their work together in response to the new situation. To start this they decided to experiment with new ways of collaborating that were possible within the lockdown guidance and could be shared on-line.

View the process of the first project The BOX here.


September 2019 – What a great night!

Tour of exhibition with Chris Keady, Head of Museum and the artists.
Photo: Peter Griffiths

The opening of ‘What is the Matter? Materials, Commodities, Narratives’ at Kelham Island Museum on 12th September 2019 was a great success. There were over 150 visitors and the museum was buzzing with conversations and excitement about seeing a well-loved Sheffield institution with new eyes. Many people commented on how having contemporary art amongst the museum’s displays made them notice and reconsider artefacts and stories.