An ongoing research project led by Phoebe Davies and sex educator Gareth Esson (founder of Tailor SRE). This project was initiated in 2017 when Phoebe and Gareth began working with male sports teams and coaches to explore male privilege, masculinity, gender politics and radical sex education.
Following their initial research with King’s College London academics and sports teams as part of Somerset House Studios’ Arts in Society Programme, Gareth and Phoebe are currently developing this body of work with sports teams, clubs, and gyms in the North East of England and South Wales.
Resistance Training is a strand of research developed by Phoebe Davies and physiotherapist and international sports coach Alex Bowmer. This work was initially commissioned as part of Hyper Functional Ultra Healthy at Somerset House Studios, where Phoebe and Alex led a series of physical training sessions exploring resistance and competitiveness through collaborative movement, team/pack mentalities and collective strength. These sessions were active, working with athletes and non-athletes to explore exaggerated contact between participants drawing upon basketball, rugby and american football drills.
This is a work in progress, and has many iterations including a series of video sketches, fly posters, a zine and audio work.
This research builds upon Phoebe’s work with choreographer Nandi Bhebhe using live performance and performance to camera to negotiate multiple histories and intergenerational perspectives, disrupting power structures and exploring relationships of solidarity.
A Film by Nandi Bhebhe and Phoebe Davies.
Research Project. 2014 - current
Divest from patriarchy.
Normativity is a myth.
Bedfellows is a hot-blooded research project led by artists Chloe Cooper, Phoebe Davies and Jenny Moore born from the personal, the political, and the professional.
It’s about sex. Sex when you’re walking down the street, sex in school, sex when you’re shopping, sex on smart phone screens, sex in galleries, sex when you’re having dinner with your friends and sex in museums.
Sex as education. Sex re-education.
The Bedfellows project investigates sex, sexual identity, desire, consent, and feminist porn. We ask whether, as artists trained in visual literacy, we might be able to deconstruct the dominant tropes of the image-heavy sexual landscape we’re in.
It’s happening all the time but it manifested itself most recently in the form of research group meetings at, The Caged Antelope in Deptford; a public programme of workshops, performances and events at Tate Exchange (London), a Body Night at Tate Modern (London), a queer feminist porn screening with Pink & White productions (London) ; a series of SEX TALK MTGs at Serpentine Gallery (London), Tate Britain (London) and Assembly at Portland State University (USA), Bergen Assembly (Norway) and Let's Mobilize: What is feminist pedagogy? at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg (Sweden); a lecture at Wimbledon College of Arts; and a radio interview on Radar Radio.
For Information about future public events, talk and research groups please join the Bedfellows Mailing List.
Performance, Tate Exchange, Switch House, Tate Modern, 2016.
Devised by Phoebe Davies and choreographer Nandi Bhebhe.
Working with an intergenerational cast Creases navigates personal journeys and perceptions of age, sexual identities, anxieties and desires.
This durational work spanned Tate Exchange and the public spaces on Level 3, 4 and stairwells of the Switch House.
20 October - 23 October 2016
Tate Modern, London
Building on this work, Nandi and Phoebe are developing a new commission A Navigation, which will premier at DKUK in Peckham in March 2017.
"Visionary fiction encompasses all of the fantastic, with the arc always bending towards justice. We believe this space is vital for any process of decolonization, because the decolonisation of the imagination is the most dangerous and subversive for there is: for it is where all other forms of decolonization are born. Once the imagination is unshackled. liberation is limitless.” - Walidah Imarisha - Octavia's Brood
Print commission, Arnolfini, Bristol, 2016
“Punk is a discordant cluster of promises, proliferating forms of actions, feelings, events and persons.”
Punk is a Moving Target, Mimi Thi Nguyen and Golnar Nikpour, 2013
Phoebe collaborated with students from UWE Bristol BA(Hons) Graphic Design to develop a new print installation for Moving Targets, Arnolfini’s summer programme. Apathy’s a Drag is inspired by students’ personal experiences of activism, subculture and self-organisation.
Sharing ways of living, working and collaborating, the group explored print as protest, DIY communities and archives to create a layered text piece. The installation on this hoarding will build and evolve through intermittent fly posting throughout the summer.
All print was written and co-authored by Gina Bates, Will Bindley, Francesca Bryan, Tom CB, Kirtis Clarke, Phoebe Davies, Eleanor Elliott-Rathbone, Harry Irons, Jade Innes, Vanessa Periam, Callum Rothwell, Laura Simonati, Evgeny Smagin, Ruby Tier, Emile Toledo, Jack Waghorn, Erik Winterburn, Abi Willmington, and Tom Young. With thanks to Conway and Young and Bristol Archive Records.
The artwork can be found at the rear of Arnolfini's building outside the entrance of Bush House.
July 2016 - October 2016
Elderly Day Care Residency,
A Clod Ensemble Commission 2014
Over a three month residency period Phoebe worked with the centre users, support staff and London based DJs, investigating and exchanging ideas of self representation and popular culture, remixing music and visual references of hyper stylised fashion imagery and house beats. Set design, choreography and tracks (prior to remixing) were designed in collaboration with the elderly care centre users.
Following a series of performances to camera, the project culminated in a video work, (Act 1: Astoria), poster series and a limited edition vinyl record.
This work was commissioned by Clod Ensemble in collaboration with Riverside Centre in Tower Hamlets, Millman Street Resource Centre in Camden.
Over the last three years Phoebe’s practice has been exploring current attitudes to feminism, gender equality and women’s expectations and aspirations. Working collaboratively with a wide range of communities and young women’s groups her research has led her to draw upon and subvert the contemporary culture of nail art. Creating printed nail designs depicting women of significance specific to the groups she works with, these nail designs are then applied in the nail salon by the project participants. This nail salon acts as a site for dialogue and exchange of ideas, questioning possibility models, what feminism and gender equality means today.
Alongside the nail salon the working group also host a programme of public discussions, talks and performances addressing the topics raised through the workshops.
Since 2013 the Influences series has toured the UK and internationally, in various contexts and locations. Highlights include: SA-UK SEASONS 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council (SA), Graz Museum, steirischer herbst festival (AU), Southbank Centre, Women of the World Festival 2013 (UK), Late at Tate Britain (UK), Mulberry School for Girls (UK) Bob and Roberta Smith’s Art Party Conference (UK), The Open Barbers (UK) Clean Break (UK) and London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) and Fierce Festival (UK).
Featured images: SA-UK SEASONS, Johannesburg (SA), November-December 2015, coinciding with 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Influences Nail Salon, Johannesburg hosted Treatments, a public programme of activities and events curated by Ashley Whitfield with the aim to further unpack the notion of feminism. Treatments presented work by Johannesburg-based artists and practitioners Tsholo Bless, Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle and Sober & Lonely.
Influences Nail Salon, Johannesburg also featured Waiting Room Literature by the Sober & Lonely Library for Science Fiction, Feminism and Misc. The artistic duo Sober & Lonely, a series of selected books, zines and graphic novels available for reference in the waiting area.
Photography: Phoebe Davies and Anthea Pokroy
Design: Tom Merrell
For further project information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Performance Commission, ICIA, Bath, 2015
For the launch of the Spring season at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Contemporary Art in Bath Phoebe Davies and Holly Blakey were commissioned to develop a new performance, Interlude. Phoebe and Holly worked with University of Bath students and local participants to produce a performance intervention which responded directly to the site, exploring how we perceive our social frameworks, investigating assumed or expected behaviour at public gatherings whilst questioning and resetting the dynamics of the space.
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Friday 6th February 2015
Fly poster series, 2014
Domus MMXIV, Millcote House, London
Developed during Fierce International Performance Festival 2014, Birmingham.
Text reference: Zadie Smith discussing Madonna, Desert Island Discs, Radio 4, September 2013
Audio Commission, Art Licks Weekend, 2014
Curated by Eva Rowson
From whom and where do we learn our assumed roles?
“My daughter always says my voice changes when I’m speaking on the phone or talking to a room.”
Phoebe constructed a new site-specific sound work for The Pigeon Hole Cafe. The text is drawn from interviews and conversations with the managers’ mothers, investigating the role of female hosts and expected behaviour, leading to parasitic parallels.
Calm Exteriors continues Phoebe’s performative approach to generating work through instruction, discussion and live interaction, which may be initiated by the artist but completed or extended by others.
Written and edited by Phoebe Davies, with contributions from Louise Steidl and Jackie Ellison. The text is read by the artist’s mother, Rosamund Davies.
Calm Exteriors is commissioned as part of the Art Licks Weekend 2014 performance programme, HOST, curated by Eva Rowson and supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation. With thanks to the Pigeon Hole Cafe, Holly Steidl, George Ellison and the Eurythmics.
Performance Commission, by Tate Schools and Teachers, Tate Learning and Touretteshero, 2014.
Performed by Valda (Tate Britain VA) in Tate Britain Galleries 1540-1840, duration 5 hours.
A live intervention that works directly with the people whose job it is to staff the galleries, questioning and resetting the dynamic of the space and the perceived rules of how we act within the gallery.
Live sound work, Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre, 2014
A Shay D collaboration in partnership Girlguiding UK
This text and sound work was edited from personal observations, conversations and experiences of Girl Guides from across London. The text was performed live by Girl Guides as part of WOW’s Club Night, showcasing women in contemporary music and emerging DJs on Friday 7th March 2014.
Slade Farm Organics, South Wales, November-January 2012.
100 bails of straw wrapped in black plastic, paint and weather-proof tape.
A collaboration with local farmer Richard Hodgkin, situated on farming by roads, seen by 900 vehicles daily.
Text reference: Extract from conversations in cars, part of the CITE series.
Freeparty's foundations for were laid by Sam Trotman and Phoebe Davies in 2017.
Sam and Phoebe have been working together since 2007 when they met through their work at Artsadmin. Over the past nine years they have developed a collaborative practice producing experimental with artists and communities across the country. Their work crosses disciplines and sectors, producing projects within galleries and theatres as well as raves, schools, shopping centres, care homes and farmland.
From 2013 to 2015 Sam and Phoebe produced the OOTO Places programme for Creative People and Places (Medway and Swale, Kent). Sam is currently director of Scottish Sculpture Workshop.