How many bodies have passed through this hotel room? Those empty cupboards, tight sheets, and lumpy pillows, just an illusion of comfort and homeliness. I contort, conform, disrupt and seek respite in the voids, using my body as language and location as parameter.
Thursday 15 September 2022
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Free to attend, subject to capacity.
The opening event for Vacancy is sponsored by Spotty Dog Brewers
Vacancy is a series of self-portraits representing my body as language, within parameters of specific, often confined, space. Body placement is expressed through a process of conformity and contortion within a space that holds everyday normalcy. The form is both disruptive and illusionary — seeking comfort and filling the void through isolation and retreat.
I once thought hotels to be romantic places, and maybe they were at one time. These days I find them mostly clinical, attempting to lull me into a false sense of comfort and security. Despite this, the hotel room has been my sanctuary for many years. I traveled a lot for work. A nomadic life that appeared glamourous but in actuality was bound by limited space and time. Whilst being on the road, I found myself fighting to make space, to discharge and find retreat in a time-poor reality. The hotel room was often my only respite from the rushed, high-energy experience of putting on a show. These transient spaces gave me both limitations and opportunities for experience and expression to shape my work.
While the elements of interior/exterior maintain plausibility within the work, placing my body within these spaces interrupts a seamless reading, prompting the viewer to question the presence of the body as landscape… Vacancy draws attention to the body’s purpose, flexibility and limitations in relation to space…
Bodies are markers of self … and what is self but a body that relates to space, holds space, takes up space, finds space, makes space and leaves space.
Eddie James is an emerging artist based in nipaluna, Hobart, Tasmania. Influenced by a career on the road, her practice explores the human capacity to see and read body language. She engages with the mind/body connection in creating action, reaction, emotion and physicality. James uses the body, movement and the tactile processes of analogue/alternative photography and printmaking to create a visual tension that highlights displacement, comfort, isolation and freedom. With the use of architecture, light and form, James translates a deep listening of space into a visual experience.
Eddie James trained at Swinburne University, School of Theatre and Performance, completed a Diploma of Visual Arts at the Newcastle Art School in 2019 and is now completing her BFA at The University of Tasmania. In 2020 she received the ‘Cobra’ Award from Contemporary Art Tasmania with which she then created the work ‘Walk On’. This project was picked up by 10 Days On the Island and a further iteration was created specifically for the festival. James has been selected as a finalist in numerous art prizes, including, twice, the Newcastle Emerging Art Prize. She is the current (2022) winner of the Women’s Art Prize Tasmania. The Judging Panel for this award was unanimous in its choice, saying; “In this work, Eddie James offers a multitude of narratives in a soft-focus ambiguous world. Room 18 is a strong well-conceived work with a timeless quality using the body as a disrupter in a transitory, illusory and disquieting space.”