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> > > Nancy Willis presents Transformation

27 April 2010

Background

Animated art by Nancy Willis, based on 'The Explorer' by Allan Sutherland, with music by Chris Morris

photo of artist Nancy Willis sitting with a film-making award

Nancy Willis

Transformation began when Nancy Willis was approached by Allan Sutherland to contribute to an oral history of disability arts. Nancy agreed but wanted the interview to focus on the development of her work as an artist. However, in reality, it was difficult to separate her art work from the deeply personal stories which emerged.

When first presented with the poems, Nancy felt uncomfortable about consenting to such personal stories being fixed into a text format. After some reflection, she proposed the creation of an animation, which would bring together the poems and images in a narrative stream.

Over the past year, the creation of Transformation has led Nancy into a reassessment of her life's work. The animations combine previously made paintings, prints, photographs and film. This material is carefully selected, often representing the original artworks that inspired the poems, but transformed through the time-based medium of animation. Musician and artist Chris Morris (aka Christopher Pigeom) has composed original music for the animation and contributed pieces from his collaborative project 'Six Foot Pigeon'. This experimental soundtrack forms a mysterious counterpoint to Nancy's more traditional approach as a painter and printmaker.

The themes in Transformation partly emerge from external difficulties and partly from those inner conflicts, which are rarely explored territory in the struggle for equality and human rights. The animations explore complex ideas about the nature of memory, identity and disability, catching fragments of the past which might be lost forever if not documented in some way.

Transformation Part 1

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Transformation Part 2

To watch this video in larger format, click on the YouTube icon.

Artists' Biographies

Nancy Willis is a London based artist. Throughout her career she has sought to express her particular view of life and experience of disability. In her work, Nancy creates a place where complex emotions can be explored without feelings of shame. Disability arts has provided a supportive environment for her art to thrive, it is from this place that she explores the universal themes of love, loss and human vulnerability.

London exhibitions include The Whitechapel Open and solo shows at the Diorama Art Gallery and Oxford House. Major Disability Arts exhibitions include Defiance: Art Confronting Disability, at City Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent (1993), Unleashed at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (1995), and No Broken Arrows, Tulane University, New Orleans (2001). A projection of Transformation will be featured at the E17 Art Trail in September 2009.

As a teacher and workshop facilitator she has run workshops at the Serpentine Gallery, the Whitechapel Gallery, Byam Shaw School of Art and in many health and community settings.

Nancy has contributed as an independent researcher to Tate Britain, the Whitechapel Gallery's expansion project, and the University of Leicester's Rethinking Disability Representation. Her documentary 'Elegy for the Elswick Envoy' (commissioned by Channel 4 in 2007) has been shown at the BFI, gaining an honourable mention at Picture This Festival in Calgary, and winning six best documentary awards including Aspen Shortsfest, and the New Orleans Film Festival.

Chris Morris (aka Chris Pigeom) is a fringe artist, musician and 'dishevelled factory worker' from Herefordshire. Chris has no formal art education, preferring to develop and engage with art through his individual experience with the world. He has diagnosed himself with 'Exploding Head Syndrome' - a term he has coined himself to express the creative moments in his experience of epilepsy. He describes his use of everyday objects and unusual methods of creation as 'self governing artistic principle of decay'. He is prolific and has a huge awareness of obscure historical and contemporary artists and musicians from around the world. Rather than publicly showing his work in galleries he uses methods like those of the Mail Art movement and artists such as Ray Johnson.
www.myspace.com/littlegreenbirds

Comments

richard downes

/
20 February 2013

Should it be Pigeon or is Morris trying to get in n that too?

Colin Hambrook

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6 June 2012

Chris Pigeom and Chris Morris are one and the same person!

Chris Burke

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23 March 2012

Dear Anyone.

Ummmm.... this is a question more than a comment, I'm a little confused dot com!

Y'see, all over the story it says 'with music by Chris Morris'. Even in the headline it does. But when the piece starts, it clearly says 'Music by Christopher Pigeom.'

Why is Chris Morris taking credit for Chris Pigeom's music (not that I know who either of them are) and if he wanted to do that - why not edit the beginning of the.vid. to at least get the names matching up?

Yours puzzledly

Chris

Brian Wild

/
15 July 2011

Twould be great to see more work like this. It's hugely inspirational about how one becomes an artist.

/
13 May 2010

Nancy has a fab art sale on just now. Please go and visit http://www.nancywillis.co.uk then click on the 'SALES' button.

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13 May 2010

Nancy has a fab art sale on just now. Please go and visit http://www.nancywillis.co.uk then click on the 'SALES' button.

xanthiope

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12 May 2010

Does Nancy Willis have any more exhibitions coming up? What is she working on now? Is Transformation available on dvd? More Nancy PLEASE! Completely agree with Pauline Alexander.

Hannah Macpherson

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1 February 2010

Please keep these online - I would like to use them as a teaching resource later in the year! Really interesting and engaging thanks

Pauline Alexander

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27 January 2010

I have only just watched this for the first time. I think it is wonderful! So moving and beautifully put together, words and images are a symphony and the music vibrational and touching.

Nancy, Thank you so much for your courage to open your life in this way, it is such a gift to others.

Thank you also Alan and Chris and all who were involved in this exemplary project.

Pauline

Clara G

/
17 September 2009

Awesome!! Thanks for sharing so much personal struggles in such an artistic way.

Editor

/
15 September 2009

xanthiope - perhaps you would send me an email to editor@disabilityartsonline.org.uk and we can discuss this?

xanthiope

/
14 September 2009

I absolutely love the animation piece on this site, but I went to Inky Cuttlefish (E17 Arts Trial) on September 13th and saw the installation that was in the article. It is even more beautiful. I loved the way you used the fluttering transparent screens and the silk backdrop. It was magical. Wish this was on expo longer. Thanks dao for informing about this event. Would love to follow forthcoming exhibitions by Nancy, Rachel Gadsden and other artists featured here.

Ruairi Beag

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5 September 2009

Can relate to a lot of this. Its very powerful. Thanks.

Ruairi Beag

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5 September 2009

Wow!!! Can identify with a lot of what you are talking about. Thanks Nancy.

christine draper

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29 August 2009

How beautful this video is.Thank you Nancy.Your work is very lovely;inspiring ;your honesty very moving.Thank you.

Alice Dass

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29 August 2009

Oh Well Done Nancy! and, of course, Allan and Chris too.

This is an incredibly moving piece, whilst also being totally REAL - as a film it should be award-winning, and as a work of art it is formidable.

Olive 98

/
28 August 2009

fantastic!! Bravo!

Olive 98

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28 August 2009

This is great. Thanks so much. Loved it.

xanthiope

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28 August 2009

I feel like I've seen a whole movie. Such a lot of issues come up in these 2 short pieces. Thanks SO much.

xanthiope

/
28 August 2009

Can't stop watching this. PLEASE can we have more???

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