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Towards Memorial by Yuen Fong Ling, 9 August – 1 September, Persistence Works Gallery

TOWARDS MEMORIAL, Yuen Fong Ling, part of Platform 2019
9 August – 1 September

Opening times:

Wed to Sat 12-6pm

Sunday 12-4pm

FREE Artist Talk: Sunday 1st September at 2-4pm

The artist Yuen Fong Ling will be talking about the exhibition and the making of the project "Towards Memorial" 2019. Aspects of each collaboration will be drawn together, including Edward Carpenter's archival sources, sandal production with Noble & Wylie, The Friends of Edward Carpenter, filmmaking with Picture Story Productions and concept design and branding with Jon Cannon and Mark Howe.

The talk is free to attend but please RSVP here.

Image credit: Towards Memorial (2019), Yuen Fong Ling, film stills by Picture Story Productions

Platform 2019 highlights the work of five artists on The Freelands Artist Programme – a rolling five year initiative supporting two-year paid residencies for emerging artist in the Sheffield city region.*

About the Exhibition:

In a period of political and social uncertainty, how can what you wear help to express your beliefs and what you stand for? TOWARDS MEMORIAL is an art project that explores this question by remaking a pair of sandals designed and made by the socialist writer, poet and activist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929). During his lifetime, Carpenter sought to improve the living and working conditions of the working class. This included a greater awareness of, and openness to, our physical and spiritual relationship with others and the natural environment. Carpenter also supported equal rights for women, and championed new ways of defining homosexual / queer relationships and identities at a time when homosexuality was illegal, whilst living openly with his life-long partner George Merrill in Millthorpe, Sheffield.

The exhibition will contain “Towards Memorial” (2019), a film in three chapters documenting the making, gifting and wearing of the Carpenter sandals, made in collaboration with Picture Story Productions. It will also include “SELF 1892” (2019), a graphic brand and visual concept developed with designer Jon Cannon based on the remnants of the sandal’s prototype paper patterns, including product images by photographer Mark Howe, shot around the city centre of Sheffield and “My Days with Carpenter” (2018-ongoing), a series of Edward Carpenter and related gay postcards (suggesting a visual evolution of political protest) worn by the artist and his boyfriend in their shoes throughout 2018/19.

Ling’s mixed-media presentation, which mines Sheffield’s history for inspiration and utilises the skills of local artisans, is presumably just what the Freelands Foundation was hoping for.

Hannah Clugston, The Guardian

About the Artist:

Yuen Fong Ling is an artist, researcher and lecturer based in Sheffield. His practice explores issues of intersectional identities, historical omission, non-permanent forms of public memorial and socially engaged art practice, as the artist, model and curator.

Supported by Making Ways, Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Hallam University, Arts Council England, Site Gallery (part of the Freelands Artist Programme) and Yorkshire Artspace.

*The exhibition will include Zoyander Street, Lucy Vann, Sian Williams (Site Gallery), Yuen Fong Ling (Persistence Works) and Alison J Carr (Bloc Projects)

Funders and supporters