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Kathy BattistaClick here to Print this Page
Catherine Elwes
Elwes has used consistent themes and practices throughout her oeuvre.

There is the repeated use of simple actions such as in Sleep or Grown Up. The exploration of the body, first with performance and then in videos, acts as a metaphor for various ideologies. Elwes' investigations into language - verbal and visual - are connected to the feminist critique of masculine codes embedded in the visual arts. Elwes is considered a central figure in post-war radical practice, especially one within feminist art. Her work can be seen as inspirational for a younger generation of women working in performative and video practice, including artists such as Lucy Gunning, Tracey Emin and Hayley Newman, all of whom have explored themes around the personal and the domestic. It is artists such as Elwes who paved the way for younger artists in general to explore notions around the body, sexuality and endurance. As an artist, teacher, writer and curator, Elwes has made a lasting contribution to artistic practice in Britain during the last three decades.

Kathy Battista
Still from Catherine/Cate Conversation by Catherine Elwes, 1979
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