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Fiona Curran - Jump Cut, Still Life 


Jump Cut, Still Life presents a series of works exploring landscape and the impacts of screen-based technologies on our sensory engagement with the natural world. The works in the exhibition developed from the artist’s experience of being in her garden during lockdown, witnessing plants growing, observing insects and birds visiting and noticing the subtle changes in temperature and light. These works record Curran’s experience of slowing down and paying attention to the changing of the seasons whilst reflecting more broadly on notions of loss and change at a human and non-human scale. 


The title of the exhibition refers to the jump cut film editing technique which removes a section of film from a sequence creating a ‘jump’ effect that disrupts any seamless sense of time in order to move the audience ahead in the narrative. Curran reflects on the lost moments and intervals from the jump to consider what is edited out or left behind when time is accelerated. The jump cut acts as a metaphor for the artist’s experience during the pandemic where so much of life has been displaced to the screen and where the sense of things moving very fast and very slow at the same time has been an unsettling constant over the past year. 


Works in the exhibition include vivid and joyous textile pieces located on the walls and floor alongside an architectural installation. The bright colours and layered surfaces mimic the illuminated and seductive spaces of the computer screen whilst immersing the viewer in a more physical and sensory engagement with materials and space. Curran is committed to slow, often labour-intensive processes of making that mark the passage of time, slowing down and paying attention. She has a strong investment in the meaning that can be derived from engaging with processes of making and encountering the material world in all its beauty, resonance and complexity.


The abstract and collaged grounds of the works exhibited evoke the formal and utopian qualities of Modernism and our desire as humans to continually order and re-order the world according to our designs. Yet, in several works, bleached-out organic and botanical forms appear to surface like ghostly presences. These fragments from nature are invoked in an attempt to preserve and celebrate their forms whilst suggesting larger narratives of ecological loss that may be edited out in our embrace of technologies that promise to continually move us forward. 



Fiona Curran (b.1971 Manchester) read Philosophy at the University of Manchester before studying at Manchester School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art, she teaches at the Royal College of Art in London, lives in Hertfordshire and works from her studio at Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge. Fiona has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including solo exhibitions at Cornerhouse Manchester, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff, MAC, Birmingham and Touchstones, Rochdale. Fiona has also undertaken a series of site-specific public art projects for organisations including the National Trust, Kielder Forest Trust and Vital Arts, she is currently working on a sculptural commission with the Contemporary Art Society for Eddington in Cambridge. 


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