Exhibition Talk: Materials and Making: Smithson, Egypt, Barnsley and Me


Dr Vanessa Corby, Senior Lecturer in Theory, History and Practice of Fine Art at York St John University, describes her research as an artist and art historian as ‘rooted in a fundamental preoccupation with ‘stuff’; a sensibility derived from the landscape of her childhood spent in the rolling hills, forests, soot, rust and general muck of South Yorkshire’.

In this unique talk, Vanessa will discuss her radical re-reading of the work of American artist Robert Smithson (1938-1973), specifically Spiral Jetty, one of the most well-trodden artworks in the history of twentieth century art. In her latest essay, however, Vanessa brought to light the significance of Smithson’s engagement with ancient Egypt to rethink how this work works for its audiences.

Vanessa maps her fascination with materials and making as the outcome of her roots in Dodworth and her training as a painter, which began at Barnsley College in 1989.

2pm | Free admission - donations welcome

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