Open Studio

Redell Olsen, Diapause, Collage, Mixed Media, 2020.

Residencies & Projects

Redell Olsen, Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants

3 November – 7 November 2021

10:00 – 17:00

Free, No Booking Required

The DARE Art Prize presents Redell Olsen‘s new body of work, Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants at The Tetley. Join us to view Olsen’s visual, text-based and audio-visual work in her open studio.

Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants engages with the work of BioDAR researchers at the University of Leeds. These scientists are using weather radar to monitor insect biodiversity. With its origins in World War Two, radar is often used to determine information about the weather. The plumes of insects that sometimes show up in this data, most famously on days such as flying ant day, have often been dismissed as just being ‘noise’.

Through a consideration of objects from the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and related archives, this body of work tracks and imagines a range of poetic, narrative, historical and cultural noises at the fragile intersections of radar, insects, weather, objects, people, music and film.

The works have involved dialogue with the BioDAR scientists and incorporate materials from their research, alongside additional sources from vintage natural history and fashion magazines. Virginia Woolf’s essay, ‘The Death of The Moth’ and George Frederic Handel’s pastoral opera, Acis and Galatea inform the lyrics of an imagined inter-species opera, extracts of which are performed in collaboration with the Chorus of Opera North and bass-baritone Matthew Stiff, as a response to the current climate crisis and environmental degradation.

In Conversation with Redell Olsen and Dominic Gray, Projects Director, Opera North Saturday 6 November, 14:00, City Workshop (Book in advance).

https://www.thetetley.org/whats-on/open-studio-redell-olsen-weather-whether-radar-plume-of-the-volants

punk faun: a bar rock pastel

Redell Olsen, Punk Faun: a bar rock pastel, subpress, 2012.

This work was commissioned by Isabella d’Este for the walls of her studiolo after she attended a daylong screening of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster at The Roxy in Brixton, London, and a few weeks later stumbled upon an artist’s talk by Raphael on Ed Ruscha’s painting “They Called Her Styrene.” However, it was her experiences that same evening in a karaoke bar off Oxford Street that convinced her to go through with her planned idea and to approach a writer who could carry out her design for a bar rock pastel. At the time of the commission the patron was herself concerned with the plight of deer on the roads of Europe and North America and was an ardent campaigner for the introduction of sonic deer deterrents based on installations pioneered by Max Neuhaus. In a drawing, now unfortunately lost, and in this written description (for the first time available here within the text of a popular edition) she details her request for a masque of grotesque pastoral and mythic proportions, a cloven poetics that would feature commerical activity to be streamed live on the walls of her studiolo. She similarly required the inclusion of players as ordinary citizens—or often as ordinary citizens as artists—”got up in devious animal brocade,” to perform whatever forms of cultural consumption, display and collection they encountered over the duration of their everyday experience, all this for her personal entertainment and meditative consolation. D’Este paid for the work upfront safe in the knowledge that she had purchased a piece of poetic invention in which even the title was against itself.

Author City: LONDON / CAMBRIDGE, UK

Redell Olsen’s previous publications include: Book of the Fur (Rempress, 2000), Secure Portable Space (Reality Street, 2004) and the collaboratively edited bookwork Here Are My Instructions (Gefn Press, 2004). From 2006-2010 she was the editor of How2 the online journal for modernist and contemporary poetry, poetics and criticism by women. Her recent projects have involved texts for performance, film and site-specific collaboration and include: Newe Booke of Copies (2009), Bucolic Picnic (or Toile de Jouy Camouflage) (2009) and The Lost Swimming Pool (2010). She is reader in poetic practice at Royal Holloway, University of London where she is the director of the MA in Poetic Practice.

issn: 9781930068568

Available here from SPD