Jini Rawlings at Contemporary Applied Arts

Posted on: 20 May 2015
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Filed under: Staff research

Amazing mixed media and installation artists as well as lecturer on CMP, Jini Rawlings created a site-specific installation that will be shown as part of the Leaving Home exhibition at Contemporary Applied Arts until the 31st of May!

Amy Emily Emma and the Four Times of Day (Vernet)

This is a site specific installation originally shown on the 18th century mahogany dining table at Uppark House and was commissioned by Unravelled Arts funded by Arts Council England, to respond to the history of the House.

Format: Single channel HD video, Multi channel surround sound, 4 x semi coated glass panels 75cmx 55cm, I frosted Perspex panel 75 cm x 55 cm, acrylic bases.



Installation still by Jim Stephenson

The work is inspired by the story of Emma, later Lady Hamilton, who was said to have danced on the dining room table at the age of 15 in 1781 for the amusement of a group of louche aristocrats led by Sir Harry Featherstonehaugh. She later became famous for her “Attitudes”, a new art form where she recreated  various mythological  and historical women through interpretive tableaux. A forerunner of both interpretive dance and living statues.

Jini relates, “I was specifically drawn to the history of a woman who existed at the margins of society, variously lauded or demonised as the déclassé wife of Lord Hamilton and the lover of Lord Nelson and mother of his child, Horatia.

I worked with a contemporary dancer to respond to the story and to interweave it with images from the marine paintings of Jean Claude Vernet which hang on the walls of the dining room and relate to her later relationship to Lord Nelson.”


Video still Jini Rawlings

The final video was projected through parallel  panes of semi-coated glass which stood on the original mahogany  dining table meaning that the images appeared and disappeared as the viewer walks around the table. Multi channel audio based on letters and writing of key people in emma’s life created the impression of dinner table conversation.

The single channel version of the installation that you will be able to see at Contemporary Applied Arts integrates part of the original video with recordings of the installation to create a new version of the piece.

“My work is concerned with the slippage of meaning and the possibilities for reinterpreting images reflected and fragmented through glass. While referencing historical sources I am concerned with creating contemporary readings of the past rather than historical accuracy.

Amy/ Emily/ Emma is an elusive figure open to any number of interpretations. An eternal outsider who also inspired great love and loyalty.”

You can view a record of the installation here and more of Jini’s work here.



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