Corin Sworn: 'I think objects affect the people who engage with them'

The artist behind video work The Rag Papers is focusing more on sculpture and installation projects

Corin Sworn: 'I think objects affect the people who engage with them'

Courtesy the artist and NAK.Neuer Aachener. Photo: Simon Vogel.

It's been a busy few months for Corin Sworn. Last year, she represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale, exhibited in Berlin, London and Canada, and now, her new Inverleith House show opens in the middle of a six-month residency in Italy. The residency was awarded as part of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which she won in January, and Sworn says she wants to use it to work on her sculpture and installation. 'I often use research to write scripts for videos and then situate them in installations,' she says. 'Having been given a bit of time to think and experiment, I'd like to use it to explore the installation side of my practice.'

Her Inverleith show comprises work made in response to the Botanic Gardens collection, as well as her film installation The Rag Papers, an exploration of reuse and appropriation that Sworn made for Londons Chisenhale Gallery last year. 'While researching the circulation of fabric and second-hand clothing for The Rag Papers, I ended up reading about natural dye techniques,' she says. 'One of the things that struck me about natural dyes was their somewhat unstable characteristics. I felt this had a strong resonance with themes in The Rag Papers, which is concerned with the way that objects can change as they are read and used by people. In a not dissimilar way, I also think objects affect the people who engage with them.'

Moving the location of The Rag Papers will, Sworn says, change the feel of the work. 'I never know what the changes will be until they happen. I'm often surprised by how different a work feels in a new location.'

Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Sat 12 Apr–Sun 29 Jun.

Corin Sworn

The third of three Common Guild artists' exhibitions originally shown at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Sworn's installations explore notions of storytelling and history.

Corin Sworn

Photographs and an installation inspired by natural plant dyes and research into plant specimens.


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