Quick Search:

'Clench' exhibited at An Elastic Continuum

Walker, Nathan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8419-9018 (2023) 'Clench' exhibited at An Elastic Continuum. [Show/Exhibition]

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Walker, Nathan

An Elastic Continuum (which took its name from the title of an artwork by Bethan Hughes) is an international group exhibition & symposium presented by The ‘New Materialist Reading Group’ (NMRG) featuring the work of 17 contemporary artists, curated by NMRG co-leads Rebecca Howard & Victoria Sharples.

Arriving from the proposition of ‘skin’, An Elastic Continuum offered an interface with skinnings: surfaces, architectural structures, organisms, membranes and embalmings.

The works on show presented a plethora of intersectional readings that transect ontologies of animacy and the sensorial, biotechnical interventions (birth, growth, ailment, and death), human, animal and plant bodies, and spaces of trans-ition, whether -gender, -species or interior-exterior relations).

In An Elastic Continuum, the premise of ‘skin’ is purposefully layered, aggregated and poriferous, as with epidermal and geological stratum, as seen in the work of Carter, Kempley and Lucas. Clifford and Vann’s practices centre on protection and exposure of the soft body: PPE and chronic dermatological conditions. With a focus on façade, veneer and construction, the work of Fisher, Howard and Speed invite thought on the parallels between skin and built spaces through folds, pattern, and costume. Sharples, Stanley, and Walker account for the liminality of skin and the body as a transitory site, whether that be in relation to buildings that temporarily store human bodies (as with mortuaries), or through interior-exterior relations (as with the mouth or uterus). In place of the subject-object binary, the practice of Hamilton, Von Munchhausen and Barrett provide a more permeable and participatory account of matter, where material affordances yield questions of autonomy and the sensible. And the work of Hughes, Squires, and Rushton signal the ways in which human and plant matters are intimately connected through physiology, sexuality, and the military-industrial complex.

Through expansive readings of ‘skin’, An Elastic Continuum provides a public mediation and sensory interface with the noun, organ, and material.


Simon Carter
Grace Clifford
Craig Fisher
Helen Hamilton
Rebecca Howard
Sinéad Kempley
Victoria Sharples
Emily Speed
Rose Hedy Squires
Rachel Stanley
Lucy Vann
Henriette Von Muenchhausen
Nathan Walker
Ellie Barrett
Bethan Hughes
Victoria Lucas
Stephanie Rushton

An Elastic Continuum is supported by the University of Derby’s Early Career Researcher Development Fund as part of URKEO (the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Office).

Date: 22 June 2023
Funders: University of Derby’s Early Career Researcher Development Fund as part of URKEO (the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Office).
Event Title: An Elastic Continuum
Event Location: S1 Artspace Sheffield
Event Dates: 17 - 22 June 2023
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N4390-5098 Exhibitions
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9164

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record