Transformative Matter Research Group.

Curated by Professor Siân Bowen and Peter Symons.

6 January-6 February 2020

Northwest Gallery, AUB

Mechanical Human Matter aims to explore complexities of material transformative processes within the human/machine spectrum using innovative approaches to drawing.

AUB Transformative Matter, Material Trace research group engages in practice-based research relating to innovative approaches to drawing. Operating within and across discipline-specific boundaries, it facilitates investigations into the capacity of materials to change or to be changed – and, in turn, to signify meaning, articulate ideas, convey knowledge and encourage reflective experimentation.

Activities build on the ongoing series of staff and student workshops, exhibitions and discussions, Collapsible Spaces; Places of Temporary Refuge, Camouflage and Ritual led by Professor Siân Bowen. Mechanical Human Matter takes place against a backdrop of increased interest in drawing as a means to understand processes of change and ever-shifting intellectual, cultural, and social landscapes – and to concerns relating to the materiality of form as an intermediary between the senses and the intellect.

Members of the Research Group engage with aspects of transformation through a wide spectrum of means ranging from the intimacy of direct touch to the almost total reliance on machines for creative realisation. Yet these varied means continue to extend concerns, which interrogate the unpredictability of the ephemeral and the impermanence of form and space.

This exhibition aims to explore complexities of material transformative processes within this human/machine spectrum. It has evolved from a project of the same title devised for the group by Harry Meadows and Dominic Shepherd in order to interrogate these questions through practice. Each member of the group, together with AUB alumni and MA & BA students, placed themselves on the human/machine spectrum in terms of the processes used for the production of their work. They then exchanged drawings in order to experiment how the work might be taken in new directions.

The exhibited pieces are thus the co-production of an object formed through layered processes, which have been implemented by different members of the group. The exhibition poses questions about roles of touch and mechanisation in artistic production and where we can collapse the human/machine binary.


List of exhibitors

Siân Bowen, Gideon Bohannon, Anthony Dixon, Simón Granell, Juliette Losq, Harry Meadows, Justine Moss, Fran Norton, Lisa Richardson, Dominic ShepherdPeter SymonsPreeti SoodAndy Weir.


AUB Alumni

Brian CallinanIlona SkladzienClare BaskervilleCarrie MasonAnna MossAlex Wilson.


MA Fine Art & BA (Hons) Fine Art Students

Drawings produced during workshop, Human Mechanical Matter, led by Professor Siân Bowen, in the Drawing Studio, December 2019. Selected by exhibition’s co-curator Peter Symons.