Ain Bailey: Version
12 July - 22 August
Watch the exhibition film for sound artist and DJ Ain Bailey's Version, the first onsite exhibition at Wysing Arts Centre of 2021, curated by Hannah Wallis. Exhibition film by Wilf Speller.
Installed in three parts across Wysing’s site, the title pays tribute to the ‘version’ of a vocal reggae track. Throughout the exhibition, Bailey brings together sound and sculpture as means to expand on ideas and techniques of ‘sonic biography’, a generative methodology of sound exploration that the artist has finessed over the years. Presented with the opportunity to occupy several spaces across the site, Bailey has produced a series of works that reflect on the artist’s Jamaican heritage, albeit from the position of someone who has not yet visited the island.
A rendition of “Linstead Market”, a traditional Jamaican folk song, sung by artist and composer Elaine Mitchener plays intermittently throughout reception upon arriving, a nod to songs held in memory and childhood. Moving through to the main gallery, an installation, including a sound composition capturing the cooking of a traditional Jamaican dish, ackee and saltfish, is accompanied by sculptures, exploring the interconnected roles of sound and food in forming biography. For the third and final part of the exhibition, Bailey has transformed Folke Kobberling and Martin Kaltwasser’s Amphis sculpture in the Wysing grounds into an homage to dub, the music genre which originated on the island.
The three sound pieces are accompanied by a translation, written by artist and writer Taylor Le Melle. Presented alongside the sound works as a textual ‘version’ of the compositions, these act as an experiment in sound translation, whereby sonic components are shared in alternative ways. This element was developed in partnership with exhibition curator Hannah Wallis, as part of an exploration of how sound works can be made more accessible for D/deaf audiences.
Ain Bailey’s exhibition is generously supported by Arts Council England, DASH and The Future Curators' Programme, The Henry Moore Foundation and The Elephant Trust.
With special thanks to Martha Todd from Studio1Ceramics.
Ain Bailey is a sound artist and DJ whose compositions encompass field recordings and found sounds and are inspired by ideas and reflections on silence and absence, architectural urban spaces, and feminist activism. Her electroacoustic compositions are created for a variety of forms, including multichannel and mixed media installations, moving image soundtracks, live performance and dance.
In 2019 Bailey exhibited as part of The Range at Eastside Projects, Birmingham; RE: Respite at Transmissions Gallery, Glasgow; and presented her first solo exhibition, And We’ll Always be a Disco in the Glow of Love at Cubitt, London. Bailey has collaborated with numerous artists including; Sonya Boyce with Oh Adelaide! which toured to Iniva, London, Tate Britain, CCA, Glasgow, Whitechapel Gallery London and The Kitchen, New York between 2010-2015; as well as Jimmy Robert, Jasleen Kaur and most recently Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski with Remember to Exhale for Studio Voltaire, 2019.
Between 2017-2019, The Pitch Sisters was presented as part of Sounds Like Her, a touring exhibition curated by Christine Eyene and commissioned by New Art Exchange, Nottingham and a Serpentine commission working with MRI clients who are LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees remains ongoing.
In 2020 Bailey was commissioned by Radiophrenia Festival and in 2021 will be presenting new works with Rewire Festival and Tectonics Festival.
Taylor Le Melle
Taylor Le Melle writes, organizes, and produces objects; most recently as editor and publisher of science-fantasy novel Orion J. Facey’s “The Virosexuals” (PSS). Born in 1988, Le Melle currently lives and works in London and Rotterdam.
Born and raised in East London of Jamaican heritage, Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer. She has performed and collaborated with numerous leading artists in the worlds of contemporary new music, experimental jazz / free improvisation and visual arts. She is founder of collective electroacoustic trio The Rolling and her sound works are held in a curated collection by George E Lewis at Darmstadt Festival.
Recent projects and commissions include On Being Human as Praxis (SWR Donaueschinger Musiktage); co-curator (with George Lewis) for the London Sinfonietta’s Yet Unheard; specially commissioned video works for Holland Festival, Ruhrtriennale and London Contemporary Music Festival/ Whitechapel Gallery; AMAZING GRACE (reworked) for Marina Abramovic’s SkyArts takeover; and curated two special programmes for BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show.
In 2021/22 Elaine is one of 50 selected artists whose work will feature in the British Art Show 9 touring exhibition and is a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist.
Hannah Wallis is an artist and curator based in the Midlands. Concerned with how visual and performative knowledge production can inform and be informed by collectivisation, collaboration and long-term research cycles, Hannah has worked under the moniker of Dyad Creative since 2014 and is currently working as curator-in-residence at Wysing Art Centre alongside her role as Assistant Curator at Nottingham Contemporary. Committed to embedding accessibility practices within the arts and supporting the working rights of artists and art-workers, Hannah has worked with National Gallery, London, Aural Diversity, DASH and East Street Arts among others.