Chapter Arts Centre and Creu Cymru are delighted to announce that, following an open call for applications, Owain McGilvary has been commissioned to create a new work in response to Mel Brimfield’s exhibition ‘From This World, To That Which Is To Come’.
Selected from almost 50 applications from Welsh or Wales-based practitioners working across all artforms, Owain will spend the next two months developing a new piece that touches on some of the key themes in the exhibition.
The proposed video work is a fictional retelling of the life of Sherri Martel. A wrestler in the 1980s, ‘Sensational Sherri’ was a talented and tough performer who tragically died in 2007 following a long addiction to opioids. This new work aims to capture the horror of prescription drug use and the suppression of the individual’s mental health and wellbeing by the medical industry.
Speaking about the selection, Chapter's Director of Programme Hannah Firth said:
“We had a lot of strong applications to our open call, and selection was very difficult, but we’re really excited to be working with Owain. The panel felt that his concept was really strong and referenced many of the key concepts in Mel Brimfield’s exhibition. We’re looking forward to working with Owain to develop his idea and to explore how we can make the completed work available to audiences (both physical and virtual).”
Owain McGilvary said of his appointment:
“I’m delighted to be selected for this commission and to receive support from Chapter and Creu Cymru to create this work. The commission will help consolidate the research I have been undertaking into the world of female wrestling and allow me to work with a performer to make a video about Sherri Martel’s life. Martel was a fearless, committed wrestler that fell victim to the opioid crisis in the US. I hope this work can sensitively build an awareness of the medical industrial complex which enabled this, and shine a light on the ongoing importance of care, health and wellbeing.”
About the artist
Owain McGilvary is a Welsh artist based between Glasgow and Anglesey working in moving image, collage and drawing. He is interested in modes of communicating derived from popular culture and queer vernacular, exploring their intricacies and relationship to community, friendship and gender. This is done by employing a collaborative approach, considering oral history, personal annecdotes and queer theory together as a way of collaging.
This commission is made possible through the support of Creu Cymru, the development agency for theatres and arts centre in Wales.