ABOUT THE ARTIST - SHARON YOUNG
Sharon Young is an artist and lecturer based in London.
Her work has been exhibited worldwide including Tate Exchange; Liverpool // Venice, Encontros das Imagem, Braga; Goa Photo Festival; Cosmos, Arles; The Centre of Photography, Clement-Ferrond, Tate Liverpool, and P3 Ambika Gallery, London and has been the recipient of awards such as Flash Forward Magenta Awards, Canada and The International Photography Awards, New York.
Her work is held in public collections such as the V&A Library, The Yale Centre for British Art and PhotoIreland Foundation. She has recently presented her research at conferences such as She is Hysterical, UCLA, PSi 25, Calgary, Ithaca College, New York and University of Oxford.
Sharon is a lecturer in photography at Ithaca College, London Centre and University of Roehampton and Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art.
She is on the steering committee of Speaking of Her; a feminist research network for the production and dissemination of art practice and research.
She is currently undertaking her PhD at the Royal College of Art where her research topic is:
Once More with Feeling: The reinvention of ‘hysteria’; through photography, performance and autofiction.
ABOUT THE ART WORK
"It’s not that we are silenced – we do speak and even speak up – it is rather that often we cannot find the words to say what we want to say. It is this feeling of being ‘outside language’ that I wish to address in my artworks."
—— Sharon Young
What is the message you are conveying in these work(s)?
The starting point for this project was a question I asked myself: why do some women in the twenty-first century feel that we don’t have a voice? It’s not that we are silenced – we do speak and even speak up – it is rather that often we cannot find the words to say what we want to say. It is this feeling of being ‘outside language’ that I wish to address in my artworks.
What was the context the artwork was created in?
Once More with Feeling is a ‘transcreation’ through contemporary art practice of the novel Madame Bovary by Charles Flaubert published in 1856. The exhibition contemporizes the novel in order to consider parallels between the protagonist and the societal frameworks at play then and today, considering how things have changed and also, how they may not have changed. I have a particular interest in the scenes and descriptions of Emma Bovary as she appears to be having hysterical attacks.
What is your personal connection to the subject you created in the artwork(s)?
My experience as a woman becomes the material for autofictions and a resonance with the character who was both complicit in and a product of the society that surrounded her. Although contemporary Western society has changed since 1852 (when it was written) I see parallels in the silencing of female desire even now when we are supposedly free to do whatever we like.