© Copyright Seren Metcalfe 2020

Bio

I am a Multidisciplinary Artist currently based in London but born and bred in Yorkshire (1997). I currently work in Video, Performance, Painting, Sculpture, Writing and Choreography. 

My research covers themes of Time, Labour, Energy, Routine and Structure. I’m interested in the ways the body navigates through spaces, and find myself obsessively forming parallels between Cityscape and Landscape, or the ‘natural’ vs the mechanical. I also have key interests in fame, television, consumerism and class. Within my work I attempt to interconnect these themes with personal memories, childhood narratives and anecdotes - creating a ‘new language’ to speak about personal experience and understanding of current existence.

Growing up in the suburbs of a ‘train set city’ in a time of rising neoliberalism and mass media, I spent the majority of my childhood in front of the television absorbing endless talent shows, make-over programmes, learning over-sexualised dance routines and falling for the attractive mirage of fame. Sunny days were spent exploring vast Yorkshire landscapes and spending time within my imagination. With age, I became obsessed with time and wasting time, a constant fear that time was running out. I used performance and music as an escapism for my overly structured way of thinking. A big shift in my practice came when moving to Leeds in 2015. I became obsessed with the structures of the city in the same way I had idolised pop stars in my teens. This repeated when moving to London in 2016. I was fixated on the movement of people within a crowd and how architecture informs mass movement within the city. I use long bus and train journeys as a form of therapy and find myself holding on to moments of everyday life that provide me with humour and aesthetic satisfaction. I think of my ideas as a production line within the factory of my body, and have begun setting my work out in phases of production rather than by year. I want my work to be representative of a constant build of research. Each phase will act as a branch of an exploration of a pathway rather than sticking to one linear branch of time. I am currently in Phase 1 and 2 of this process.​

Phase 1

Phase one begins with the vast Yorkshire Landscape. We see the hills at the beginning of existence. Microorganisms multiplying, bodies moving as one entity to the shape of the green hills. The curvature mimicking the human figure. The singular entity transfers energy into different parts of the natural, Branching out into humans, birds, foxes and fish. Everything is moving. I moved from North to South to the city watching bodies follow routine. The city is the factory. Here lies the structures. The transfer of energy between body and machine. Phase one focuses on the commodity of time and labour, on the psychogeography of the city, the energy of movement between places, the commute. It's about the rhythm, the sounds of traffic and people and the light the city creates. The train is the transport that forms the link between these two living systems acting as an in-between space. The windows form a box shape, and mimic the television screen. Everything is viewed within a box in a city. The windows are seen on high-rise blocks of flats, offices and town-houses forming an insight to these micro-environments. These scenes light up at night and we watch. The television mirrors the windows. It is the epitome of scheduled time. I watch the rhythm, pace and drama of these emotional ups and downs condensed into 30 minute time frames. 

Phase 2

Phase two begins with the television box. Here we view Fame, Consumerism, pop culture, and class. It brings up interests in the factory production of people - especially within reality television and how fame is presented to the working classes as an ideal. We view everything as an audience. 

 

Rhythm manifests itself in Phase two through pop music. I look back at childhood memories of talent shows and over-sexualised dance routines, pop groups, and make over shows. Merchandise lives on two separate parallels. In one place business bosses make money from celebrities becoming faces of products, in another, a DIY pop band are desperately trying to sell their logo on a t -shirt to their groupies. T-shirts are used as a means of protest and an alternative way to get a message across to strangers. Phase two focuses more on specific individual characters looking at themes of masculinity within our class system and that in relation to fame and television.

My work plays on many themes giving it hopefully a real and truthful narrative. My practice can be intimate and uncomfortable, Other times obsessive, playful and humorous. 

 

In the future I hope to work with robotics, television and theatre.

 

For me collaboration is an important part of my practice and I am in the process of making my work more accessible beyond the art world which I think can begin to be achieved by creating relatable, accessible content. I currently run free movement and sound workshops alongside artist Eleni Zachariou and founded the Working class creatives database.

Contact

If you would like to Collaborate, Buy Work, or Open a discussion with Seren please contact:

Seren_Metcalfe@hotmail.co.uk