Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist as Medium

Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist As Medium is an exhibition of artists and works inspired by mediumistic methodologies and their deep cultural history. Featuring 26 international artists and collectives spanning a range of 200 years, from the 19th century to the present day, it explores the changing historical and aesthetic terms of artistic engagement with mediumship; from perceived spiritual inspiration and creation during séances and trances, to practices of automatism, channelling, and paranormal investigation.

Starting with William Blake and the largely forgotten Victorian spirit artists Georgiana Houghton, Anna Mary Howitt and Barbara Honywood. Their work, strikingly at odds with prevailing traditions of artistic expression, was based on spirit experiences and communications with higher powers. Then progressing to Surrealist experiments and examples of more contemporary practice.

Client  

Exhibition

Drawing Room, London

Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool

Curators

Simon Grant, Lars Bang Larsen, Marco Passi

Assistant Curator

Gillian Fox

Captions are set in Rosart, a contemporary interpretation of the work of both Jacques-François Rosart and Johann Fleischman, giving it close comparisons to the title typeface, Fleischmann. An 18th-century typeface with remarkably modern proportions and a distinct decorative flair.

Cut and shaped captions take cues from plaques, memorials and ancient publications. Stylistically shaping the texts into points or cutting them off at angles.

The exhibition presents the artwork on a dusty pink wall, highlighting colours within the pieces and bringing a warmth to the space.

The corresponding gallery guide is printed on 60gsm paper, the same material as the jacket for the exhibition catalogue. Playing with the idea of the spectral through the translucent paper, printing information on both sides of the sheet.

The eclipse illustration symbolises the beginning and the end. Life and death. Light and darkness. All themes found within the artwork.


An extensive publication to accompany the exhibition, Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist as Medium, Hayward Touring (2020)