Friday 16 May + Saturday 16 May 2014

Film Screenings: Friday + Saturday 9:30 – 5:30pm (on a loop)

Q&A Friday 16 May only: 6pm

Admission free.

Places are limited so please email to secure your place.

The project Manual started with a public participatory research event hosted by Peacock Visual Arts and took place at Seventeen in November 2013. The event consisted of a series of one-to-one interviews with members of the public that explore people’s everyday behaviours and habits in public space. Participants were encouraged to talk about their own experiences, routines and preferences within the framework of everyday situations; How do you choose a seat in a restaurant? What do you do in order to feel secure? Does surveillance make you feel safe or watched? Do you take measures to avoid catching infections from other people? Do you have a system for staying safe in public space? How do you act when you run into someone you don’t want to run into? What do you find unacceptable behaviour? Do you have a preferred toilet cubicle?

The material recorded during this event was developed into a fictional artist film about how we deal with anxieties and hang-ups whilst in public space. Set entirely inside a shopping centre, the film follows the interactions between two sisters; one anxious about her personal safety, the other concerned with the invisible threat of infection. The sterile atmosphere of the environment quickly becomes menacing as the women’s personal safety systems begin to fail.

The work will be shown on a loop in the gallery. Cecilia Stenbom will be present on the evening of Friday 16 May for an informal question and answer session.

Manual has been supported by Arts Council England through the Grants for the Arts scheme.

About Cecilia Stenbom

Cecilia Stenbom (1976, Stockholm) is a visual artist and filmmaker. Originally from Sweden, has previously been based in Reykjavik, Helsinki and Glasgow and currently lives and works in the North East of England. Recent exhibitions includes: Nobody Gets out of Here Alive (Solo exhibition), Kaapelin Galleria, HIAP, Helsinki, Tip of the Iceberg, Contemporary Art Society, London, Happy Fashion, Viaindustrae, Perugia and Rotterdam International Film Festival. Upcoming projects are ‘Everyday Collateral’ a solo exhibition at Workplace Gallery, Gateshead and ‘In Waiting’ A short film commissioned by Creative England/BFI.

‘My work captures and explores human relationships, particularly the performed behaviours and interactions of everyday life. My work is concerned with notions of identity in a consumer driven and information rich culture and how even the most mundane and seemingly unassuming moments are affected by the abundance of information surrounding us. I work with narrative, mixing fictitious situations with real-life. Reality and fiction are continually and deliberately blurred, I mix my own experiences, captured and recorded events of others with made-up scenarios. I examine our anxieties and desires, reinterpreting scenarios within entertainment, mass media, retail, and domestic life.’