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News – Manufactured Body Exhibition to open in March

This March, interdisciplinary contemporary fine artist, Alison Dollery, is to unveil Manufactured Body – a brand new exhibition no less than six years in the making. Ahead of its official opening in just over two weeks’ time, Britain Uncovered provides a full overview of what visitors can expect, along with details of the ways the exhibition is seeking to tackle body image issues.

A painted body that features in artist Alison Dollery's 'Manufactured Body' project

Described by the artist as “provocative, visceral and discursive”, the Manufactured Body project by Alison Dollery – which has been ongoing since 2017 – is set to come life this coming March courtesy of a brand new exhibition that’s scheduled to take place at The Ancient Priors in Crawley, West Sussex.


The Manufactured Body Exhibition is Alison's first formal exhibition to date, and will showcase the artist's extensive interdisciplinary (hybrid) art practice within contemporary art. The project concerns the artist's lived experience of extreme weight loss and what has been manufactured into our bodies' materiality and socially. The themes of the exhibition will address current topics on body image, disorders, objectification, posthumanism, alienation and transformation of our 21st century bodies.


The artwork on display at the exhibition will reveal how the artist uses the body as research and the body's material as the medium and tool within hybrid art practices that expand the mediums and materials of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking and performance art and its material trace. This includes archival material, film, process, writings, sketchbook work, and images from the artist’s public and private collections.


Artwork of the painted body, part of Alison Dollery's 'Manufactured Body' project

The writings included in the exhibition will highlight literature informing the Manufactured Body Language and the artist's research and writing. Through the work, the artist continually uses the body to collapse space between the artist, performer, viewer, life model, curator and lived experience and a non-performance or the material reality of our bodies. The exhibition will also include local artists' work in response to the artist’s body.


The six-room exhibition is taking place at The Ancient Priors in Crawley, West Sussex, in conjunction with Wordfest 2023. The artist will be present on-site to discuss the work and the project, which has been heavily informed by post-1970s feminist performance/body artists and historic paintings of the female nude.


The artist is also pioneering artwork documenting the lived experience of extreme weight loss and surgery. However, it is necessary to understand that the lived experience is a protagonist, and that the work speaks to broader social issues around the body as a subject and an object. The exhibition is an experience for everyone to experience the body differently in contemporary art and to promote the positivity of how our bodies matter.


Alison Dollery has exhibited nationally and internationally – including at the OXO Tower in London and the Hawth Theatre in Crawley – with additional performances at the Tate Modern and photography awards in New York. Alison holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the UCA and is CIPD qualified.


The promotional poster for artist Alison Dollery's 'Manufactured Body' exhibition, taking place in March 2023

Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge, and the event is accessible to all visitors. Although entrance is available on the day, you can also reserve free tickets on Eventbrite ahead of time by clicking here. The show has a parental guidance rating of 12+, as themes of sexuality, nudity and discussions around diets, weight loss and surgery arise in the work.


For more details on the artist and the exhibition, feel free to visit www.alisondollery.com and www.manufacturedbody.com. You can also follow Alison on her Instagram page, @alisondolleryartist.


For more on Wordfest, head on over to www.wordfestcrawley.org.

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