Celia Wickham – ‘Identity’ – Artist Q&A


On Saturday 8th October 2016, 6-9pm, Instigate Arts take over the main gallery space at HOME in Manchester to host our ‘Identity’ pop-up exhibition. In this series of Q&A’s we get a little more insight into what makes some some of the participating artists tick. Here we speak with artist Celia Wickham


Can you tell us about your practice?

I primarily work with film, video and installation, exploring themes of memory, identity and sexuality. I am also involved with curatorial practice and writing, and am founder and editor of the feminist arts publication Milk and Honey.



How does your work relate to the themes of Identity?

‘Natura’ explores a woman’s tumultuous search to understand her relationship with her mentally ill mother, who has recently passed away. Through this recalling and uncovering of the past, she learns how to better understand her own identity and sense of self, as she pieces together childhood memories and mediations.



Do you think the themes of Identity relate to the current political and social climate?

I think the theme of identity is definitely a relatable one to our current political and social situation. The complex and multifaceted nature of personal identity is something that is being spoken more and more about in contemporary discourses, and it is crucial for these spaces to be continuously carved out in our society. More specifically, it is especially important for those that identify as outside of the binary modes of representation, opening up conversations surrounding sexuality, gender and race.



How important is the role of artists’, and the art world, in shaping both people’s lives, and the social and political landscape?

I think that art making can definitely be a vehicle for addressing and shaping the world around us. Although a lot of the work I make is of a more personal nature, I feel that it also speaks more broadly to issues that can be related to a wider and more collective experience. I also feel that through my curatorial practice, and my work with Milk and Honey, I am part of a creative community, and can hopefully provide a platform for social and political discourses to take place, mediated through these artistic expressions and engagements.



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