Lost Languages and other voices
Fourteen bodies of work exploring race, history and gender by acclaimed photographer Joy Gregory
Lost Languages and other voices is the first major retrospective of work by Joy Gregory, one of the most significant artists to emerge from the Black British photography movement of the 1980s.
Spanning twenty years the exhibition brings together fourteen bodies of work exploring race, history and gender, encompassing a wide range of photographic media from digital video installations to Victorian printing techniques. The title of the exhibition refers to the works Gomera (2008) and Kalahari (2010) in which Gregory draws attention to the cultural importance of marginalised African indigenous languages.
Journeys feature recurrently in Gregory’s work, which has been made in diverse locations including South Africa, the Orkneys, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean. Cinderella Tours Europe (1997-2001) parodies the notion of the Grand Tour, with photographs of a seductive pair of gold high-heeled shoes travelling from the Caribbean to well-known sites in Paris and Venice; whilst Hoy/Hobart (2008) is inspired by the onerous journey from London to Hoy, a trip that took the same amount of time as one to Hobart in Tasmania.
Assumptions about feminine beauty are also consistently explored. The Fairest (1998) and Bottled Blonde (1998) examine the desire to be blonde and its racial implications, whilst Objects of Beauty (1992-1995) critiques consumer products of the Western fashion industry. Many of the works have been fabricated specially for this show, and are being shown here for the first time in the UK. L
Lost Languages and other voices is an Impressions Gallery touring exhibition curated by Anne McNeill.
Joy Gregory is a graduate of Manchester Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. Her practice is concerned with social and political issues with particular reference to history and cultural differences in contemporary society. As a photographer she makes full use of the media from video, digital and analogue photography to Victorian print processes. In 2002, Gregory received the NESTA Fellowship, which enabled her the time and the freedom to research for a major piece around language endangerment. The first of this series was the video piece Gomera, which premiered at the Sydney Biennale in May 2010.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited internationally at festivals and biennales. Her work is included in collections including the UK Arts Council Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Yale British Art Collection. She currently lives and works in London.
Our visitors say...
“Very much liked Kalahari and Cinderella Tours Europe. Viewing them was taking a journey of sorts and even separately, they are stunning and beautiful images and distinct voices.”
“Excellent exhibition, love the diverse styles and formats. Especially love Cinderella Tours.”
“As a painter I usually scan any photographic exhibition without any real concentration. This morning I have been here over an hour. Visually beautiful and disturbing. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, I am touched and grateful.”
Artist Talk with Joy Gregory
1 hour 10 minutes.
Recorded at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, 24 November 2010.