Guest Post: The Conversation

The Conversation 
Holly Davey

Date: Open until 3 February 2018
Timings: 11am-5pm
Location: g39 in Cardiff

About The Conversation

A buff foolscap folder is the starting point for The Conversation, a solo show by Holly Davey. Inherited by the artist, the folder contains fragments of a lifetime – photographs, scraps of paper, postcards, a paper bag, an exhibition catalogue and other mementoes. These clues have become the catalyst for over two years of research that has developed into this continuing body of work.

Her work accesses public and private collections to examine ideas of memory and place. By caching these objects, we hope to form a sense of ourselves, to create an impression of normality and staged familiarity that makes us feel complete. But on their own, a collection of objects is an incomplete archive: in between are the gaps, the pauses. It is the silences that are the most revealing, where object and memory come together to form an imagined reality.

The foolscap folder itself is the gap or silence within this inherited archive. The remembered becomes the lived present, reality shifts and the hunt begins; using museum archives and Internet searches, time collapses to make the forgotten visible. As it unravels, there is no map, no point B, just a series of fragments that when placed together form a reimagined whole, an archive of a life.

Holly Davey, The Conversation, g39, Cardiff, Installation image, Nov 2017.jpg
Holly Davey, The Conversation, g39, Cardiff, Installation image, November 2017

Associated events programme 

  • Saturday 2 December, 6pm: Artist talk with Heather Phillipson and Holly Davey
  • Friday 8 December, 6.30pm: Film screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, 1960
  • Wednesday 17 January, 6.30pm: Artist talk with John Stezaker
  • Saturday 3 February, 4pm: Roll Credits, a spoken word event with contributions by Holly Davey, Bruno Diaz, Alison Gibb, Freya Dooley and Cinzia Mutigli

Events all take place at g39.

About the artist

Holly Davey (BA Fine Art, 1998) lives and works in Cardiff, Wales.

Holly Davey’s lens-based practice involves working closely with ideas around memory, place and archival collections, mostly online and library/museum based. She is interested in the heritage of a location or collection, especially it’s lost and largely forgotten social history. She is interested in researching and developing ideas that explore notions of fact and fiction, blurring the boundaries and making the audience question what is real? This way of working has resulted in site-specific commissions exploring the relationship between photography and sculpture as well as our personal connections to archives both private and public.

Since graduating Goldsmiths, she has exhibited both across the UK and internationally. Recent commissions in 2016 include Here Is Where We Came From at Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth; There Is No There There at A la Ronde, National Trust, Exeter; The Thelma Hulbert Archive Project at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton; in 2015 Here Is Where We Meet, a Situations Commission for Bath and Bristol Weekender and Temperance Walk at Experimentica Festival, Cardiff; in 2014 The Nameless Grace at The Holburne Museum, Bath; and in 2013 Nothing Is What It Is Because Everything Is What It Isn’t, Colwinston Trust Commission at National Museum Wales. She has taken part in several international residencies and is currently a Creative Wales Award recipient.

About the space

g39 is an artist-run contemporary art space founded in 1998. They are based in Cardiff and have occupied a large warehouse space for the past five years. They endeavour to provide exhibiting opportunities for early and mid-career artists, often alongside the work of more established artists. Their programme is made up of local, Wales-based, national and international artists. In the past, they have created early career exhibiting opportunities for artists such as Bedwyr Williams and Megan Broadmeadow.

This show has been supported by Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and a production grant from the Arts Council of Wales.