Jerwood Staging Series 2019: AJ Stockwell – in the midst of her elemental composition

11 Sep 2019


Jerwood Arts, 171 Union Street , London

At the point where the body and the rock meet, where the corporeal and the lithic intertwine, this thin space is where it can be found.

in the midst of her elemental composition* is an evening exploring interconnections between the human and the lithic (the nature of relating to stone) with a focus on the artist’s own body and its geological heritage in the Western Isles. Considering the thin space between these bodies and the points at which they meet, AJ Stockwell’s research concentrates on how this relationship can be articulated and in what tongue.

Drawing upon a text written and translated from Michel Serres as a starting point, this new body of research is presented through sculpture, performance and audio. These have been informed by a period of research in North Uist, Scotland, where the artist spoke with local residents and experts about the geology of the area, focusing on how the gaelic language expresses the lived relationship with the geology of the island, and the cultures that have formed around this relationship with the lithic.

Water is central to connecting the corporeal with the lithic and as part of the performance the audience are invited to drink together from water collected in North Uist by the artist, which has filtered through the ancient rock body of this land. As the sun sets the performance progresses into a deep listening environment, where the audio piece is presented.

AJ Stockwell is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is rooted in sculpture. Her practice considers the slippage of materials through time and our bodily connection to these through acts of observation and making. Interpreting our contemporary human relationship with artifacts, she often borrows languages and processes from other disciplines (such as ceramics, dentistry, archaeology, mining and clog-dancing), initiating conversations with specific groups, experts and amateur enthusiasts as both sources of knowledge and collaborators in making.  Her current work focuses on the relationship between human and geologic bodies as part of ongoing research into human-material entanglements. She is currently a lecturer in Critical Studies at Hereford College of Arts.

*“In the midst of her elemental composition and her possible reproductions.” – Michel Serres translated by Margaret Sankey & Peter Cowley (2016) The Five Senses A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies

This is free to attend. Booking is required via Eventbrite.

AJ Stockwell, Fadic Rock, Standpoint Futures, 2017. Ceramics, raw porcelain, wooden pallets, paper, sound. Installation view at Chisenhale Art Place, London, UK