Artist/ Anna FC Smith

Wigan, United Kingdom

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Anna FC Smith

Anna FC Smith

Anna FC Smith's Expertise

Education / Qualifications

09/01/2004 - 05/31/2007

University of Brighton

Qualification:

Critical Fine Art Practice BA

Location:

Brighton

Showcase

01/18/2014 - 04/26/2014

Purring - Sport of The People

Role:

Artist and researcher

Location:

Museum of Wigan Life

Solo show by Anna FC Smith at Museum of Wigan Life, examining the brutal working class contests of clog fighting and reassessing the activity as a self-regulated and convivial sport.

 

Sat 18th January 2014 – Sat 26th April 2014 

 

Art combines with historical research in this exhibition where Anna FC Smith has exhumed the lost history of Purring in Wigan and its surrounding areas. The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting events programme including special workshops with sound artist and DJ Scrubber Fox, poet Louise Fazackerley and artist/curator Anna FC Smith.

 

Smith explores this local sport in which colliers would engage in man on man combat, kicking unprotected shins with their wooden and metal soled clogs. These brutal and occasionally lethal matches have only been loosely documented by history; mainly in the official documents of the well meaning and patronising middle classes, and the isolated information has never before been brought together in an exhibition.

 

Through archival investigation and interviews with the public Smith has discovered mislaid details of this forgotten sport, which she has then interpreted through drawing, sound recordings and film. Her artworks are displayed alongside historic images and objects from Wigan Archives & Local Studies and the Museum of Wigan Life. These items tell the story of clog fighting including the mining industry, clog making, local pubs and the long arm of the law.

 

Smith’s drawings are light ink works based on an unattributed 17th century drawing of bare-knuckle fighters in Northumberland from the Science and Society Picture Library. The images are re-imaginings of the stories she has gathered.

 

The sound recordings are taken from old archive recordings of interviews with miners and newly recorded interviews with living relations of champions, old miners, and even fight witnesses. The accounts are vivid and conflicting, each being full of certainty; together they at once bring the truth of the sport closer and demonstrate how much the definite is out of reach.

 

The films use sound, and newly recorded and found footage to create the atmosphere of both the sport and its surrounding context. They are a dreamlike interpretation of the myths and facts from these multiple histories; there and yet irretrievable moments impossible to capture from this shadowy past.

 

Smith illuminates this bygone sport with a beam from a stalking searchlight, and exposes a new side to the activity, that of men finding a space in which to rule their own lives and to express their pride and community under their own terms. The sport may have been violent, but in the context of their lives this was a genuine expression of bawdy good humour with a strong vein of chivalry and self-regulation.

 

 Poster design Amy Cecilia Leigh

Showcase

01/21/2013 - 01/26/2013

BURPology - Harry Hill's TV Burp as Carnival

Role:

Artist

Location:

Coningsby Gallery, London

Solo show by Anna FC Smith curated by Jo Guile and Nathalie Boobis                       

This exhibition is the culmination of a year-long Arts Council England funded project in which Anna FC Smith has been exploring Harry Hill’s TV Burp as a configuration of European Carnival (1300-1700)

In this exhibition of watercolours, drawings and mixed folk media work, Smith has sought to define and spotlight components of TV Burp using a combination of ethnographic methods (drawing and watercolours) and selected folk media (papier-mâché sculptures, knitted works, thimbles and clay character pots). By creating these ethnographic studies and new folk artefacts, Smith invites us to re-examine the context in which we view TV Burp.

Her sensitive and expressive two-dimensional works examine the action of the television show with the keen observation of an anthropologist. The three-dimensional pieces draw from the folk iconography of Naïve commemorative memorabilia. Collectively, they present TV Burp’s elements and key characters as rituals and archetypes, with relayed slapstick, distorted faces, and characterful expressions. The works purposefully retain and convey the humour and silliness of TV Burp; qualities that are integral to the very essence of a Carnival approach to life.

The exhibition playfully demonstrates how certain traditions repeatedly manifest in society. Smith encourages the viewer to reflect on their own responses to Hill’s parody of the world of television and to understand this unintentional carnival “born out of the traditions in the blood and moulded by the laughter of the audience”

[1]

as a continuation of a fluctuating folk institution. Accordingly, Smith highlights the enduring methods in which we humans engage and deal with our existence.

Accompanying the exhibition there will be a book of essays comparing the activities on the television programme, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, with the historic phenomena they relate to.

‘BURPology - Harry Hill's TV Burp  As Carnival' at the Conningsby Gallery, London, is curated by Jo Guile with curatorial assistance from Nathalie Boobis. The show will be returning to the artist's hometown of Wigan for exhibition after its London premier. The curation of the Wigan show will be led by Nathalie Boobis with curatorial assistance from Jo Guile.

Further information at: 

www.burpologyshow.tumblr.com

 

[1]

Speaight, George, The History of The English Puppet Theatre: 2nd Edition,George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd, 1990

Showcase

04/20/2013 - 05/12/2013

BURPology - Harry Hill's TV Burp as Carnival

Role:

Artist

Location:

32 Mesnes Street, Wigan

Solo show curated by Nathalie Boobis and Jo Guile

 

20th April – 12th May 2013 

 

Private View: Saturday 20th April 2013, 7pm – 9.30pm

General opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 11am -5pm.

32 Mesnes Street
Wigan
WN1 1QP
United Kingdom

 

This exhibition is the home-coming for Wigan artist Anna FC Smith after its London premier. The show is a culmination of a year-long Arts Council England funded project in which Anna FC Smith has been exploring Harry Hill’s TV Burp as a configuration of European Carnival (1300-1700). The Wigan show is supported by Cross Street Arts, Standish and Wigan Council.

 

In this exhibition of watercolours, drawings and mixed folk media work, Smith has sought to define and spotlight components of TV Burp using a combination of ethnographic methods (drawing and watercolours) and selected folk media (papier-mâché sculptures, knitted works, thimbles and clay character pots). The knitted works are based on characters from TV Burp mini series The K Factor and were created by local Wigan knitters from Beech Hill Book Cycle Knit and Natter group and knitters from Wigan Library Craft and Chat.

 

Her two-dimensional works examine the action of the television show with the keen observation of an anthropologist. The three-dimensional pieces draw from the folk iconography of Naïve commemorative memorabilia. Collectively, they present TV Burp’s elements and key characters as rituals and archetypes, with relayed slapstick, distorted faces, and characterful expressions. The works purposefully retain and convey the humour and silliness of TV Burp; qualities that are integral to the very essence of a Carnival approach to life.

 

The exhibition playfully demonstrates how certain traditions repeatedly manifest in society. Smith encourages the viewer to reflect on their own responses to Hill’s parody of the world of television and to understand this unintentional carnival “born out of the traditions in the blood and moulded by the laughter of the audience”

[1]

as a continuation of a fluctuating folk institution. Accordingly, Smith highlights the enduring methods in which we humans engage and deal with our existence.

Accompanying the exhibition there is a book of essays comparing the activities on the television programme, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, with the historic phenomena they relate to.




[1]

Speaight, George, The History of The English Puppet Theatre: 2nd Edition,George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd, 1990

Showcase

06/08/2013 - 06/22/2013

BURPology - Harry Hill's TV Burp as Carnival

Role:

Artist, curator

Location:

Turnpike Gallery, Leigh

This is the third and most complete showing of the exhibition after its Wigan home-coming and London premier.

The exhibition is following a solo show by world famous artist Gillian Ayres, in Wigan Borough’s only purpose built exhibition space, an impressive 1970s architectural masterpiece. The Turnpike gallery is in the town of Leigh where the Smith went to high school and she worked there as a volunteer during her summer holidays from university.

This leg of the exhibition is based on the success of the Wigan show, which was opened by the Mayor Myra Whiteside, and was attended by well over 500 visitors, proving very popular with the public.

This exhibition will see the display of all 17 papier mache sculptures, many unseen by the public, all of the sketches and many more of the over 150 watercolours produced for the project. The exhibition will also give more of a background to the history of the traditions that Smith claims TV Burp is related to, through displayed text and books.