‘Found recently at the outer edge of the archipelago, the Vagina Islands are the most colourful we have come upon so far in our navigation through this Lilliputian world. Our geologist and archaeologist inform us that all of these islands were formed from precious objects that were lost by humans.’
2020 gold ink and watercolour on monotype print on Fabriano paper sizes approximately 30h x 50w cm
In lockdown, I intuitively gravitated to using colour and began painting islands from my installation, ‘a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago’. I then realised I had taken individual islands from the group and placed them in their own imaginary spaces.
Responding to the times we are living through, a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago invites the viewer to navigate a co-created Lilliputian world. As observation gives way to imagination, it is possible to mentally inhabit the fossilized and fragile cast sculptures as a series of islands, surrounded by sea.
All islands are separated from each other, but some stand alone, while others are in pairs or groups. The now evident architecture and topology of the mostly bleached islands may suggest abandonment associated with a dystopian world.
Modelling an idea of the individual within the collective, through viewers’ curiosity and engagement, the installation elicits questions and ideas around community and relationship as well as culture and environment. It has a particular resonance in respect of the isolation covid19 has inflicted upon us all.
Living on the coast, I am drawn to the ever changing nature of the sea and its’ transitory relationship with the edges of land. The roots of my ‘archipelago’ came from the UK decision to leave Europe in 2016 and developed in response to climate emergency and Covid-19. My experience as an artist educator with extensive involvement in participatory and collaborative work informs my projects.
an ongoing series of island like forms
plaster and pigment
2019 – 2020
photos: Alex Brattell
Huge thanks to the Observer Building, Hastings for this amazing space to experiment with my installation and to photographer, Alex Brattell who documented the work. Thanks also to a-n for the Time Space Money grant which enabled me to make new work and test ideas.
One of a series of island like works referencing Rights of Nature – a growing international movement that recognizes species and ecosystems not simply as resources for humans to use, but as living entities with rights of their own.
Rather than treating nature as property under the law, rights of nature acknowledges that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.
Made in 2019, works from a series referencing jewellery, following research in the Netherlands, supported by an AN Artist Bursary 19, some sited in hARTslane, New Cross Gate for ‘between skylight and dust’, an installation with Sharon Haward.
A Precarious Improvisation (Part 2) (against wall) found object, copper and string
A Precarious Improvisation (Part 3) stone and braid
Found Architecture assemblage for Genesis Light Magic group installation with Peer Social Artists at St John’s Church, Bethnal Green, November 2018
Sir John Soane (1753 – 1837) designed St John’s Church, built 1826 – 1828. He amassed an extraordinary collection of antiquities, architectural models and sculptures, displayed on every surface throughout his house.
My assemblage of made and found objects is a visual dialogue with his architecture and the curation of his incredible collections, housed in the Sir John Soane Museum, London. I am particularly drawn to the suggestion that Soane curated his collections to elicit to awe, humour and the poetic in his visitors. Similarly, my installations are curated with the intention of engendering curiosity.
archival digital print in found pill box
placed within the souvenir collections at the museum during the exhibition
For the ‘Collect’ exhibition at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, I was drawn to a tiny 19th century carnelian souvenir locket containing multiple views of Hastings landmarks. In this new series of works, I have constructed visual narratives that are personal souvenirs of living beside the sea in Hastings and St Leonards, and that question the role of the timeless, ever changing seascape in the making and remaking of seaside memories.
Seaside Twist archival digital print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching
In 2017, while Chair of SoCo Artists, I set up Collect – a collections based exhibition, in collaboration with Catherine Harvey, Curator of Art and World Cultures at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery (HM&AG).
My own work for the exhibition at the Museum responded to a tiny 19th century carnelian souvenir locket containing multiple views of Hastings landmarks through this series of constructed digital collages. Bringing the sea to the forefront of memory and recollection, the images are personal souvenirs of living beside the sea in Hastings and St Leonards on Sea. They question the role of the timeless, ever changing seascape in the making and remaking of seaside memories.
A Day by the Sea, Hastings and St Leonards archival digital print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching
Precious Sea archival digital print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching
Souvenir, St Leonards on Sea archival digital print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching
Mirror Sea archival digital print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching
A series of souvenir ‘bradges’ were made and sold in the HM&AG shop during the exhibition.
archival digital print on Hahnemühle Museum Etching
23 h x 103 w x 3 d cm (framed)
For the ‘Collect’ exhibition at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, I was drawn to a tiny 19th century carnelian souvenir locket. Referencing the materiality of the locket and its’ multiple views of landmarks in Hastings, I used a found object as a lens or portal to capture ‘views’ of the area, focussing on the ephemeral. Hovering in space, dislocated from their surroundings, the organically shaped ‘glimpses’ of the mutable sky transform the familiar in unexpected ways.
Residency in collaboration with poet, Stephen Watts, working with children, families and staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, Bethnal Green Road, 1997. Co-ordinated by Vital Arts.
The hospital was closing and being relocated onto wards within the Royal London Hospital. Our brief was to bring the past of the hospital into the present and onto the future. We worked with people throughout the hospital in a variety of ways – interviews, holding public events and visiting wards with arts activities for children. We researched the history of the hospital.
In a disused hospital laboratory I found an old medical cabinet and scientific glassware, some of which I used on the wards with children: inviting them to ‘make a wish’ while choosing colours of sand to pour into tiny volumetric flasks; dropping the wrapper from a chocolate into a flask. I installed these and other items within the medical cabinet, which was kept in the foyer of the hospital up until it closed.
Manyfold was made during my placement with London Creative Network, SPACE, London. The object I found turned out to be a gasket, but in my imagination it became an object for looking through, and I referenced a a tiny botanical magnifying glass my mother had given me.
This image was derived through experimentation – cutting up my screenprints (see Constellation 2), animating and assembling them with gold reflective card. I was reading JG Ballard’s, The Crystal World (1966), and became increasingly interested in the concept of a timeless realm.
I held a House Farewell Garden Party and invited everyone to sit, one at a time, for a portrait, inside the derelict greenhouse at the back of my overgrown Victorian garden. I had intended to use several portraits in the finished work, but Lily inhabited the space in a serious and timeless way, echoing the history of the space.
The work was developed for the exhibition, ‘Garden in the Garage’ with SoCo Artists at The Garage, St Leonard’s on Sea, 2014, responded to the Alexandra Park Greenhouse, Hastings for the Coastal Currents Festival 2014.
a series of monotype prints, made using found flora
I began making monotype prints in 1998, using found objects and flora. The process gave me a non-language space to work in, as a balancing contrast to the intense experience of working on freelance community and education projects.
In 2005 the Curwen Gallery, London began showing my work on a regular basis in group exhibitions. I had solo exhibitions in 2007, 2009 and 2013.
“My wings were my gift of freedom to myself” Zoe Lilith Fortune, from the Hastings Rarities Carte de Visite Album. Image produced as a magnet.
Rarities 2011 was a collaboration with Alban Low, bringing together an exhibition of over 250 Miniature Magnetic Masterpieces from local, national and international artists on the gates of Hastings and St Leonards Pier for the Coastal Currents Festival 2011.
This is one from a series of magnets, all taken from photographs in the Rarities Tattoo Album, made for the Hastings Rarities Affair exhibition, 2010, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery.
photo: The Lambie Brothers ( collaboration with Hastings Rarities Affair artists )
press release: The Hastings Rarities Affair exhibition, initiated and curated by Sinéíd Codd, at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery from September 24 September 2010 – 2 January 2011. Funded by Arts Council England through The National Lottery.
Thirteen artists used an infamous local story of ornithological fraud as a springboard for making new work, which is illustrated and discussed in ‘The Lost Ledger’ exhibition catalogue, available on request from Sinéid Codd. For more info and images of the exhibition installation, visit Rarities Productions
lightbox commission for Conquest Hospital, Hastings
lighting gel and fretwork laminate from the piano of Mary Frances Codd (née James)
In 2008 I visited Carlow, Eire, where my father, Thomas James Codd was born. We had had a difficult relationship, right up until about a year before his death in 2007. In Eire, over one weekend, I met eleven of my cousins, none of whom I had seen since I was four years old. Five of us went together to visit our parents ‘home house’, Newtownhill, a farmhouse, now derelict. In what was the parlour, our grandmothers piano still stood, but only just. I asked them if I could keep some of the fretwork and they helped gather a few sections. My grandmother, Mary Frances Codd (née James), died before I was born. She had brought her piano to the house when she married Peter James Codd in 1912. They had nine children.
soundwaves from found piano
screenprint on acetate in lightbox
jazz from found piano
These works was made after ‘from my grandmothers piano’ using prints of the same motif – the decorative fretwork and imagining the chords and notes the piano would have played and the songs sung around it.
An 85m long, printed ‘journey map’ depicting objects, signs, animals, plants and people: noticed, remembered, drawn and printed by 580 children, from Years 1 – 6 at Rosendale School, Lambeth, London. Residency 2001
Self initiated residency, participatory intergenerational project and installation: local peoples’ memories and feelings about living by the River Thames in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe presented in the form of a perspex river running beneath floor level through the gallery. CGP London, 1995
Audio recordings, found object collages, drawings and cast shadows.
The project was a collaboration with Rotherhithe Primary School, Cherry Gardens Special Needs School, Bacons College CTC, Time & Talents Memories Centre, artist Ro Shannon, sound recordist Cliff Cooper, and members of Bermondsey Artists Group ( BAG )
Funded by Sir John Cass Foundation; Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Newcommen Collet Trust Featured on Costing the Earth, BBC Radio 4
photo: Dave Allen detail: looking into River
photo: Dave Allen detail: looking into River
photo: Sinéid Codd child listening to audio of River stories and sounds, during workshop at gallery