Sevenfold: The Hand Tends To Return By A Shorter Path

Elizabeth Palmer

Research output: Non-Textual OutputExhibition


This work was first exhibited as part of 'Sevenfold' the final show of the 2016 MA in Fine Art at the University of Northampton. The exhibition comprised a 6-day long performance using a handbuilt screen printing machine that works based feeding 10m of calico in a never-ending loop. Due to the fact that the machine is so large, it is a struggle to print manually, in addition, the ‘snap’ of the machine is set to exacerbate the vulnerability of the print to changes in pressure. Over the course of the performance, marks build up on the paper in process yellow, magenta, and cyan. As the colours are overlayed, the fabric is recording the artist's success (or failure) in maintaining sufficient pressure. This performance is about the print process itself both making use of its iterative nature but also rendering this capacity for reproduction pointless by the cyclical nature of the machine and the inability to create the same mark more than once. The performance is very long (6 days 9-5) so the relationship between the body and the machine changes overtime – at some points, it is a struggle to even make a mark at others the body falls into a perfect rhythm. Somatic methodology talks about the body’s capacity to ‘learn’ and to create knowledge – this is very evident in the connectivity between the human labour and mechanised process. ‘The hand tends to return by a shorter path’ as the body ‘learns’ what successfully makes marks on the paper and adjusts to the rhythm of the machine.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
EventSevenfold - University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sep 201628 Sep 2016


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