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Polly Bagnall

Born in United Kingdom. Lives in: London
City and guilds of london Art school

I use my body in a ‘performative’ way to make marks. The movement of the body is evident in the painting. I modify or make mark making tools which I attach to my body . This limiting of my ‘skill’ as a painter paradoxically allows for something less prescribed to arise on the canvas. The appendages I paint with come from my domestic life- a bicycle horn, cosmetic brushes, a standard lamp. The resulting traces generate a unique visual language that show the remarkable properties of ordinary things.

Artist photo

Artist Picture


Work of art I would like to make

A series (possibly 3-5) 600cm x 150cm paintings on paper and canvas suspended from the ceiling showing the painted trace of my body's movement as it moved along them. Process videos (5mins each) depict me moving in different ways.
For example:
Labouring to push a heavy marble standard lamp across the roll of paper and the snail like juddering purple smear that gets left behind;
Shuffling on my side with my body wrapped in upholstery wadding impregnated with paint;
Walking on all fours like a quadruped with shaving and cosmetic brushes gaffer-taped to my hands and feet.
The combination of related videos with the very large painted traces will highlight the extra-ordinary potential of an ordinary body and everyday objects.
The concept of the 'gag' as described by Giorgio Agamben underpins my work. I make propositions for my body that limit its usual functions so that something unpredictable occurs in the painting. These very large gestural paintings will be the dominant aspect of the show. The process videos will reveal their bodily and often humorous origins.


My Artworks (4)

Click on the images to enlarge