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Performing Gender as You See Fit: Contested Bodies Panel

Join this fascinating discussion around art and how gender is performed with artists and co-curator of our Contested Bodies exhibition.

Explore further the concept of gender as a social construct. Delve into the practice of some of the artists represented in our ‘Contested Bodies’ exhibition in this thought-provoking panel discussion chaired by the exhibition’s co-curator and collector Marcelle Joseph.

The panel will feature artists from across the gender spectrum who use the human body as a medium or as subject matter, including Saelia Aparicio, Lisa-Marie Harris, Paul Kindersley, Richard Malone and Gray Wielebinski.

There will be an opportunity to visit the Contested Bodies exhibition at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery up to 5:45pm before the panel discussion starts at 6pm at stage@leeds.

This event will be BSL interpreted.


Artist Bios

Saelia Aparicio (b.1982, Valladolid, Spain - pronouns they/them) lives on a secret island in London. They completed an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2015. Their work dwells on ideas of extended ethics: How we are intrinsically related with our immediate surroundings, from the bacteria living in our skins and everything we touch, to the particles we breathe, what we eat, how we clean. They are interested in the idea of the hybrid as an intersectional being that can live in different realms at the same time, maybe not belonging fully to any of them. In their work, instead of categorizing everything through language, they bridge between oxymorons, offering us a window to a world inhabited by joyful monsters, obsolete gods, invasive species and beautiful debris. Solo exhibitions include: Paraíso extraño, MUSAC, Leon, Spain, A sentient space FUMI, London (both 2022) and Prótesis para invertebrados, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain (2019). Some of the awards Aparicio has won have been The Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award (2023), Jerwood Survey II, and Generaciones 2019.  

Lisa-Marie Harris (b.1983, Trinidad & Tobago - pronouns she/her) is a contemporary artist living and working in London. Her practice addresses the objectification and dehumanisation of women by interrogating how their bodies are re-framed as things, and are reduced to objects meant to be separated, stretched, and reassembled into contested sites of desire and extraction. She often combines organic materials (namely archival leather and hand-carved Trinidadian calabash rinds/gourds) with deconstructed industrial/mechanical parts reclaimed from the domestic spaces of feminine labour (steel apartment intercoms, metal frames from baby strollers/high chairs, etc.). Harris' work is informed by a personal history and the politics of motherhood and reproduction; Trinidadian and Afro-Caribbean culture, mythology and ecology; and migration. Recent solo shows include: The Pusher and The Pull, Lightbox Gallery Museum, Woking and Responses (To things I’ve been told about my body), Cooke Latham Gallery, London (both 2023).

Paul Kindersley (b.1985, Cambridge, UK - pronouns he/him) is a London-based artist and filmmaker working across drawing, performance, film, ceramics and storytelling. His work has been exhibited widely including at Kettle’s Yard, MACVAL Paris, Charleston House and The Hayward Gallery. He is also a visiting lecturer and drawing tutor at University of the Arts London. He graduated in 2004 in Art Foundation at Cambridge Regional College before studying Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design, London. Selected Solo Exhibitions include: Speak Your Story Into Life, Gasleak Mountain, Nottingham, (2022); Meander, 34 Bourdon Street, London (2021); Ship of Fools, SKIP Gallery in Selfridges, London (2019); Narrator, Relator & Stimulator, Belmacz, London (2017); #TheBritishAreCumming, Kunstschlager, Reykjavik (2014); #ExtremeDream Makeover performance at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2014); She wanted his soul, but he could only give her his blood, Transition Gallery, London (2009). Feature films include The Burning Baby 2020; The Image (commissioned by Charleston Trust) 2018; Das Spiel Der Hoffnung, 2017.

Richard Malone (b.1990, Wexford, Ireland - pronouns they/them/he/him) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores complex themes including queerness, class, place and otherness through sculpture, performance, textiles and installation. Malone often deliberately engages gender and class-based labour practices to question our understanding of multifaceted identities. In 2023, Malone was awarded the Golden Fleece Award for Visual Art, commissioned to create the Central Hall commission for the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, and delivered the public performance, Concurrence, as part of the Hayward Gallery's Dear Earth show. Recent solo shows include Figures at Ormston House, Limerick and knot, bind, Gesture, bend at the National Gallery of Ireland. Malone's work is held in some of the world's most respected institutions, including MoMA New York, The MET New York, NGV Melbourne and the V&A London.

Gray Wielebinski (b.1991, Dallas, TX, USA– pronouns he/him) lives and works in London, UK. In Wielebinski’s expansive practice, incorporating installation, video, drawing, performance, collage, sculpture, and more, he explores intersecting themes of power, nationhood, desire and memory. The process of collaging runs through his practice in many forms and his work interrogates dominant frameworks and belief systems, proposing alternatives. Continuously attentive to the fraught status of American mythology and landscape, his recent work has focused on surveillance, strategy, and secrecy, particularly as these intersect with questions of gender, sexuality, and the social. Wielebinski received a BA from Pomona College, Claremont CA, USA in 2014 before completing an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK in 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include: The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low at ICA London, Fratricide at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles, CA, Love and Theft, 12.26 Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (all 2023); Oil and Water, Hales Gallery in London (2021). His first book 100 Baseball Cards was published with Baron Books in 2022.

Chair and co-curator

Marcelle Joseph is an American independent curator and collector based in the United Kingdom. Since 2011, Joseph has produced and curated over 45 exhibitions in the UK and the rest of Europe, featuring the work of over 300 international artists. Joseph holds an MA in Art History with Distinction from Birkbeck, University of London with a specialization in feminist art practice. Her curatorial work focuses on gender and the performative construction of identity. Joseph is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Mimosa House in London and an Ambassador of the Royal Academy Schools in London. She served as a trustee of Matt's Gallery in London from 2018-2022 and served on the jury of the 2017-2019 Max Mara Art Prize for Women, in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. She also collects artworks by female-identifying artists under the collecting partnership, GIRLPOWER Collection, as well as more generally as part of the Marcelle Joseph Collection. In 2023, she co-founded the GIRLPOWER Residency in southwestern France, an annual artist residency for female-identifying and non-binary artists.

Two fabric sculptures against a white wall. On the left is a furry female torso and on the right is a figure made from wire and pink fabric fringing.
Two fabric sculptures against a white wall. On the left is a furry female torso and on the right is a figure made from wire and pink fabric fringing.
Two fabric sculptures against a white wall. On the left is a furry female torso and on the right is a figure made from wire and pink fabric fringing.