Janice's practice based research draws on knowledge from feminist phenomenology, philosophy, anthropology, film studies, cultural studies and contemporary art and intersect with the concept of an 'in-between' through themes emerging from lived experience such as illness.
Janice's research interests include:
- Feminist phenomenology and lived experience as thematics for artistic research
- Autoethnography as artistic methodology
- Embodiment, the senses and artists film and video
- Screen/ space and the projected image in contemporary art
- The haptic as a visual strategy
- Enactments of memory, loss and trauma as temporal phenomena in art
- Liminality, the body and in-betweeness
- Walking and running as methods for artistic research
- Representation of women's experience of illness through visual poesis
Research group membership
Fine Art Research (FAR) group, School of Arts, Oxford Brookes University
Janice's most recent research project 'Encounters with Illness' includes a number of experimental videos. The project navigates some of the physical and emotional dynamics of human experience as they are affected by illness and disease (such as Parkinson's and cancer) and explores ways to locate oneself in relation to such a paradoxical space in-between. The Project is auto-biographical, drawing on personal archives. Each video engages with a poetic visual language to evoke reflections of 'the fear of the other within' (Cristofovici 1999) as we age and encounter experiences of illness and disease. Editing is used to intervene in a natural sequence of events, to create a story that reveals a disrupted body, an 'other than me' (Toombs 1993) and to reflect upon a shift in the temporal dimension brought about by illness and the separation from a hitherto familiar place. The project attempts to articulate a personal complexity of loss that unravels with the slow deterioration of the body and comment on our deeply subjective and sometimes unfathomable experience of disease, often clouded by partial knowledge.
In previous projects, fascinated by the idea of women rendered as vanishing beings by social norms, political perspectives and historical practices, she devised a number of large scale, gallery and site based interventions to explore the concept of the 'vanishing woman' as a precarious position of resistance. She developed a number of projects which utilised darkness as a theme, a material subject and as a component of vanishing to explore the ambiguous shape of 'seeing' and 'knowing' through reference to 'the blind spot'.
These projects include ‘Screen’ as part of Waterwall a large-scale site related projection onto a waterscreen located in the Regents Canal, London in collaboration with Fatima Salim, British Champion Figure Skater and a National Ice Skating Association Gold Medallist. This work developed from research into the normalisation of female bodies achieved through certain ‘bodily practices’ particularly those associated with upper-class European repertoire of movement. The work explored the concept of ‘mobility’ acting as an interrupter and was designed to simultaneously evoke the resilience and vulnerability of the female skating subject through an act of vanishing.
Following on from this, ‘Stumble’ focussed on the repetitive action of a ballet dancer, perpetually balanced ‘en pointe’. Housed inside a gallery space lined with blackout fabric, the projected image of the performer was seen holding a piece of blackout fabric and rendering herself partly visible. Filming an image of the same blackout fabric used to line the walls, part of the image was absorbed into its background and a gap between seeing and not being seen was explored. A double screen was revealed which prevented the subject from being seen and weakened the perception of who was seen. The image of a classical ballet dancer conventionally presents an ideal construction of the female body, its perfect proportions rooted in Euclidean geometry. Although still drawing attention to her performance, the subject in this work interrupted this ideal image to redefine her presence through her resistance to visibility.
‘Levitation’ and ‘Spin’ include the striking presence of the light absorbing fabric screens as sculptural forms inside which various video images were projected, immersing the viewer in an image screen as a space. The screens were devised to act as a metaphorical, ‘permeable’ threshold to acknowledge the shifting, incongruous boundaries between representation, perception, knowing and the formation of a subject. The ghostly figure seen in ‘Levitation’ drew on Victorian social hierarchies (the ‘true woman’, the ‘fallen woman’, the ‘hysterical woman’) through allusions to the restrictions imposed on women. Women ‘kept in place’ by social and cultural pressures, the workhouse/the madhouse, the medicalisation of women related to gynaecological disorders, anxiety (hysteria), depression and menopausal/sexual/religious/hereditary/work related diagnoses of insanity.
Janice has as international research record which includes exhibition at Art Stands Still, Collarworks Gallery New York, Filmlatino, Mexican Film Institute, Twin Rivers Media Festival, Flood Gallery Fine Arts, North Carolina, USA, Objectified, CICA Museum South Korea, ALC Video Art Festival, Spain, Experimental Forum, Los Angeles, CA, Ill Muestra de Video Arte Faenza, Colombia, Single Channel Video Festival, Vermont, USA, Esto es Para Esto, Mexico, Birth Rites, Whitworth Gallery Manchester and Kings College Medical School, Displaced, P21 Gallery London, Autothnography and Creative Collaboration, The Hepworth Gallery Wakefield, University of Buckingham Medical School, Wheres the Art and Mediations, Ovada Gallery Oxford, Luminaries, Oriel Mostyn and Aberystwyth Arts Centre, The Serpentine Gallery, London, Ffotogallery Cardiff, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Silent Health, Camerawork Gallery London, Gallery of Photography Ireland, Cambridge Darkrooms, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, City Museum and Art Gallery, Worcester, Open Eye Gallery Liverpool, The Health Promotion Centre, Bradford, Carnegie Arts Centre, Cumbria, Norwich Gallery.
Her work has been published as part of the Live Art Development Agency Study Room Guide Restock, Reflect, Rethink series, ‘The Displaced and Privilege: Live Art in the Age of Hostility’, Representing The Medical Body, The Science Museum, London, Kelly+Jones Un/Writing The Landscape, Re/Figuring The Body and she contributed to the research project Miscarriage and Wellbeing: performative rituals for visualising loss' led by Dr Jacki Wilson at the University of Leeds.