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Forward Broadcast - Sue Baker Kenton

Forward Broadcast
Sue Baker Kenton
LPW Gallery
4 June – 22 August 2021.

Forward Broadcast is an exhibition of recent prints by artist Sue Baker Kenton which, together with an accompanying sound piece, creates an immersive installation in the gallery. Using both analogue and digital processes she has created images of two generations that reference classical portraiture, yet bring up questions about contemporary life.

The idea for the project was formed during Baker Kenton’s printmaking fellowship at The Royal Academy Schools (2016-19) and developed in response to the participatory nature of her ReForm project at Leicester Print Workshop during the same time. The work is rooted in her ongoing explorations of the figure and traditional etching, a medium she has worked with for some 20 years.

On one side of the gallery is a montage of etched prints installed on panels which impose into the room. Here, youth is presented in close-up portraits of people under 30, the subjects each lost in the gaze of their mobile phone screens. The process of etching is tactile and physical, drawn into a plate by hand. This introduces a dialogue between analogue and digital: the tiled installation of images which pop-up from the walls suggests the ubiquity of digital imagery, while the analogue process creates unique portraits of people who in turn are absorbed in the digital world.

The facing two white walls may initially appear empty, but as the light changes they reveal portraits of the oldest generation who stare directly out at us as they seem to disappear into the wall. These tiny faces are screenprinted; drawn by hand as monotypes then mediated by photoshop before being transferred onto the silkscreen. By counterposing these quiet images with the wall of large etchings, both echoed in screenprinted images casting shadows through the windows, Baker Kenton creates the possibility for a physical and sensory experience of the works in the gallery—as an installation rather than a collection of individual pieces. This is expanded by the sound piece which can be heard in the far gallery space or through a phone as you walk through the gallery.

The exhibition is a platform for a multi-generational conversation about visibility, self- perception and the construction of identity. These issues are common to us all and can be traced through the history of portraiture, though posing very different challenges to the generations born either side of the digital divide. Through her engagement with processes and materials, Baker Kenton’s use of printmaking brings a depth and humanity to her portraits. They speak to the complexity of our need to be seen, and the parallel struggles of each generation in constructing or holding on to a sense of self in the face of fading memory and digitally manipulated ideals.

This exhibition is the first iteration of a project which will continue to evolve in response to the conversations and research generated by the accompanying events programme which will be published soon. Please visit www.leicesterprintworkshop.com/events for details.

Forward Broadcast is supported by public funding through Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice programme.

Planning your visit

Our Exhibition Space is at Leicester Print Workshop. 50, St. George Street, Leicester, LE1 1QG. Our opening hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm

Covid Safe Gallery Space
We have limited visitor numbers and group sizes, introduced a booking system and have new hygiene and social distancing measures in place at LPW to keep everyone safe.

Visitors are welcome to call by and book in to see the exhibition at the door, or can opt to book their visit in advance by emailing us or calling us on 0116 251 4174. We ask that all gallery visitors wear a face covering and sanitise hands when entering the building.

All visitors are required by law to register their visit using the NHS Track & Trace app. If you do not have access to the app, we can register this information for you when you arrive.