Coming into the possession of a laminated, woven ribbon bookmark made in Helensburgh around 40 years ago, Nina Wakeford used the object as a point of departure for the exhibition at the Poet’s Corner, Mitchell Library.
Referencing the bookmarks image of two smiling flowers, glum snail and accompanying text – ‘If you see someone without a smile, give him one of yours,’ Nina Wakeford considered the smile as an object/form while drawing on ideas of reciprocity, emotional labour and gender/language.
Wakeford is an artist and sociologist. Her work begins with the unfinished business of past social movements, and the challenges of revisiting the energies that these movements created. She is interested in the way in which identification and disidentification are forged, modes of empathy and inhabitation, and the risks of staying loyal/respectful to the kinds of materials that initiate the work.
Recently, drawing on a personal collection of feminist materials from the 1970s and 1980s, Wakeford has made a series of film and performance works that involve singing as a way of attaching herself to objects or images. She is the co-editor of Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social (Routledge, 2012) a collection that explores, amongst other things, how research might better work with openness and ambiguity.