Stay wild. The real world is more interesting than art. Run on your own and with the pack. The group is a form of drag. They can't catch you...Shift shape. Cuckoo to mistletoe to crocodile bird. One in ten billion. Be a hypocrit. Make sure your name is omni-barrelled and you change it every day. Disguise yourself as something familiar. Trojan horsing. Nobody likes an activist. Stay active.
Recognising the power of small acts of resistance, Louise Ashcroft wanders through the world noticing, collecting, subverting and adding things to the environments she encounters. Through this process she creates situations and stories, which are re-presented as spoken word performance, video and sculpture. A conceptual magpie, Ashcroft re-programmes existing systems (particularly in urban environments) through her playful direct actions, to conjure real-world narratives combining politics, philosophy and comedy. For Ashcroft, humour is philosophy at its most precise.
Louise works with writing, live performance, video and sculpture. She also curates, teaches and makes things happen.
Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Lives and works in London. Louise graduated from the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University) and Birkbeck (University of London). She also studied Sculpture at The Royal College of Art and is co-founder of the alternative art school AltMFA.
I react spontaneously to the world around me, exploring and questioning the situations and environments I encounter. Collecting and re-contextualising found materials, creating narratives through objects, making sculptural interventions and gestures. My work is an ongoing process of re-coding physical and cultural space to create an ever-changing vapour-trail of ideas, actions and artefacts.
Sculpture, The Royal College of Art, London, 2012 - 2013. Dissertation (with distinction) on 'wildness', capitalism and the gaze.
MA Cultural and Critical Studies (merit). Birkbeck, University of London 2006 - 2008. Dissertation on 'Nomadic Tendencies in Contemporary Art' (focusing on the work of Francis Alys and Rirkrit Tiravanija).
BFA Fine Art (1st class honours), Oxford University (The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art) 2001 - 2004.
AltMFA Alternative, peer-led Masters which I co-founded with Lucie Galand in 2010. Ongoing evening course.
Selected Exhibitions and Events:
Camden Arts Centre Family Artist in Residence. Oct 2016-Jan 2017.
Boring Conference, 'Argos & Counterculture'- 20 minute comical performance lecture at the annual all-day cult festival of mundanity. Audience of 450. 6th May 2017.
Zone Mista at Westminster Waste, Bermondsey, London. I made an a3 print and performance about politics and Millwall Football Club with bespoke Subbuteo match. 5th May 2017.
Guest Projects. Performance of Argos & Counterculture, comical comparison between catalogue shopping and counterculture. 6th May 2017. London
Buffet d'Art group show at Hestercombe, Somerset. Summer 2017.
Arebyte off site Residency, Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford, London. Solo show August-Sept 2017.
Arebyte Laser, solo show. July-August 2017.
Hastings Festival, autumn 2017. Performances in public space and on a train.
It's Always the Others Who Die at The Koppel Project, Baker Street, London. July-Sept 2016.
Tate Modern & Britain, Artist in Residence in the learning department. September 2015-July 2016.
Mount Florida Screenings, Mount Florida Studios, Glasgow, June 2016. Curated by Morwenna Kearsley & Myles Painter.
Re-Making the Internet. Project commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Commodities, co-hosted by Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Library and Devon Fab Lab- developed in partnership with Furtherfield.
Discrete Infinity (solo) at Gallery333, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter. May-July 2016.
JIG at Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects, London. 3-11 May 2016. Interim show of alternative art school AltMFA.
The Government Art Collection, EmbassyHACK. 1 hour solo performance 'Martian Shipping'. London, April 2016.
Buffet d'Art at Meinblau, Berlin. March 2016.
Modern Mirror at Bread&Jam, Brockley, London. Jan-Feb 2016.
Cabaret Melancholique, St Mark's Church, Dalston. 11th December 2015. Organised by Brian Catling, Toni Grisoni and Oona Grimes. Performance night.
UNPERFORMING, Friday 20th November, 6.30 - 9pm. 43 Inverness Street, NW1 7HB. Performance event.
Bon Fire, Laines Farm, Sussex, Live art night curated by Rosa Farber. 7th November 2015.
Once More with Feelings, Lewisham Art House, performance event curated by Chris Alton and Rachel Hill, November 2015.
INSUFFICIENT VOID. 4th September 2015. An evening of performances by London based artists at A.M. London. Jefford Horrigan | Fritha Jenkins | Alicia Matthews | Marcus Orlandi | Louise Ashcroft. Poster image: Jefford Horrigan.
#Neoliberation - The Self in the Era of New Media. 10th June 2015. Performance event curated by Goldsmiths Cultural Studies MA students. Group show and conference after party at The Albany in Deptford.
Tremulous, event at Asylum Chapel, Peckham. 7th June. Performances with music by Buckner Building. Curated by Fritha Jenkins.
AltMFA Jamboree. A 1-month group residency and exhibition with members of peer-led art school altMFA, at Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects space in Bethnal Green.
TEDx Hackney Women (speaker), ACE Hotel Shoreditch, 30th May 2015.
Boring Conference, 9th May 2015, I will be giving my talk 'The Stratford Centre', about my self appointed residency in the old shopping centre opposite Westfield. Curated by James Ward.
SKETCHY REMARKS - Thursday 26th March, Floating Island Gallery. An evolving group show with live performances. www.floatingislandgallery.com
A Man Called Burroughs exhibition event, 5th February at The Function Room, Somers Town, London. Screening of commissioned video ‘Burrow’.
Levity, a group show co-curated by Josh Berry and David Blackmore, Husk Gallery, Limehouse, 5th February 2015.
Shortlisted for the Stephen Cripps Award 2014-15.
Cabaret Melancholique, organised by Brian Catling, Oona Grimes and Tony Grisoni. 12th December 2014, St Mark’s Church, Dalston.
Hankering For Classification (guest speaker) - an exhibition at TOAST Manchester, 22nd November 2014.
Ochlocracy Orchestra, a collaborative performance with Fritha Jenkins and Alex Chalmers for The Royal Collaboration, at The Royal College of Music, curated by Royal College of Music and Royal College of Art. Monday 17th November 2014.
Rhizome 002 at Lab451, a group show curated by Geraldine Gallavardin. Camden, London, 16th - 20th October 2014.
Silicone Fen, a performance commissioned for the opening of 'Art Language Location' in Cambridge, 15th October 2014.
The Worm and Other Objects, solo show at The Function Room, Somers Town. 26th September - 3rd October 2014. More info here.
Penetrating the Gaze: Alternative Marketing and The Stratford Centre performed at Your Culture is Ailing Your Art is Dead, Islington, 18th August 2014.
Latitude Festival, performing a solo stand-up piece as part of Your Culture is Ailing Your Art is Dead curated by comedian Robin Ince and artist Charlotte Young. 20th July 2014.
Radio performance Creaky Offcuts at All Silent but for the Broadcast. An hour long piece. Curated by Royal College of Art Curating Graduates. 26th June 2014.
PLEASE STAND BY - Film night at Chisenhale Studios
Showing short film work alongside Matt Calderwood, Karen Russo, Sheena Macrae and more… Wednesday 11th June
7-9pm, E3 5QZ.
Unperforming, performance night, Floating Island Gallery, E14. 26th June 2014.
Let's take it outside performance at The Function Room, The Cock Tavern, 23 Phoenix Road, Somers Town, London NW1 1HB. 20th June 2014.
Performing as part of The Words to my Shit: Alexander Brener & Barbara Schurz Book Fair at The Function Room, The Cock Tavern, 23 Phoenix Road, Somers Town, London NW1 1HB. 10th May, 5pm - 6.59pm.
Live at The Function Room, Somers Town: Louise Ashcroft | Lina Lapelyte | Nazim Ünal Yılmaz. April 2014.
Your Culture is Ailing Your Art is Dead a comedy night curated by artist Charlotte Young and comedian Robin Ince. London, Northampton and Brighton gigs March - April 2014.
ON PERSPECTIVE a Lab451 exhibition and performance event at Camden Image Gallery. 1st February 2014.
SQUARING THE CIRCLE performance event at Lewisham Art House. 31st January 2014.
TECHNOPOLIS group show at Departure Foundation. 23 - 26th January. 55 Gracechurch Street, London.
THE WORLD & HIS WIFE. Louise Ashcroft. 13 - 17th January 2014, David Hockney Gallery at The Royal College of Art, SW7 2EU. Nearest tube: South Kensington.
The World & His Wife is an evolving exhibition of work by Louise Ashcroft, responded to daily by artists and curators, including Anna Clifford, Richard Hards, Vesta Kroese, Miloslav Vorlicek, Angelica Sule and Amelia Newton Whitelaw. 13-17 January 2014. Hockney Gallery, The Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore SW7 2EU (South Kensington tube). By appointment, call or text 07861375101. 11am - 5pm daily. Each day has themes relating to particular models of social interaction.
CHANCE/ ACTION, Kingsgate Gallery, West Hampstead. A one night group show curated by Marcus Orlandi, Tom Milnes and Yana Naidenov. 13th December 2013. Artists: Emma Alonze, Louise Ashcroft, Adam Holmes-Davies, Grant Foster, Julia Hayes, Natalie Marr and David Ashley Pearson, Tom Milnes, Yana Naidenov, Marcus Orlandi, Sylvester Piasecki, Zoe Schoenherr, Katy Wallwork and Charlotte Young.
Navigate Launch, Lucky Me project space, Hackney Wick. 6th December 2013. Curated by Sadie Edginton and Gerald Curtis. An evening of performances.
The Rushgrove Project, Rushgrove House, Woolwich, London. 23rd November 2013. Curated by Byzantia Harlow & Paula López Zambrano, with the collaboration of Anna Clifford, Joseph Constable, Tarini Malik & Ritz Wu and the participation of collectors Hector Audiffred, Adam Crick, Pasquale Guarracino, Katherina & Paolo Antonio Guidi & Huma Kabakci. Performances: Louise Ashcroft, Jack James, Fernando Laposse & Byzantia Harlow, Bertie Sterling, Ross Taylor, Amelia Newton Whitelaw. Installed Works: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Art & Language, Katie Bell, Ernie Gehr, Richard Hards, Marlene Haring, Byzantia Harlow, James Harris, Susan Hefuna, George Hunt, Jack James, Augustus John, Fernando Laposse, James Laycock, Mariana Magdaleno, Julian Melchiorri, Hana Mitsui, Jammie Nichols, Saskia Pomeroy, Jorge Rosano Gamboa, Alejandro Santiago, Robin Seir, Sarah Shoughi, Michael Snow, Eve Sussman & Simon Lee, Ross Taylor, Daniel James Wilkinson, Rafał Zajko,
'Addendum* (*on the shortness of life)' part 2, in Prague.16th October 2013. Curated by Anna Clifford and Miloslav Vorlicek. Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (AVU). Artists: Louise Ashcroft, Marlene Haring, Richard Hards, Russell Hill, Vesta Kroese, Lina Lapelyte, Harry Lawson, Amelia Newton Whitelaw.
Art Licks Weekend. 4th and 5th October 2013, 3pm - 4pm both days. I will be performing as part of the Art Licks Weekend Bermondsey tour on the Saturday and then around Southwark Park on the Sunday starting from the AltMFA transit van at the park gate nearest The Stanley Arms off Southwark Park Road.
Unperforming. 27th September - 18th October 2013. Group show bringing together artists experimenting with performativity in live and non-live work as a means of questioning the spectacular nature of traditional performance art. Selected London-based artists. Departure Foundation, 55 Gracechurch Street, London. Opening event 26th September 6-9pm.
Doing things without an aim. 14 - 15th September 2013. A 2 day workshop led by members of Yard House Collective - Louise Ashcroft, Noga Inbar, Oliver Roy and Jack Tan. Curated and funded by Navigate (Sadie Edginton and Gerald Curtis). Itinerent exercises in aimless, disorientation and counter-normativity, around Hackney Wick, London.
Addendum* (*on the shortness of life). Curated by Prof. Michael Rittstein, Anna Clifford, Miloslav Vorlicek. 12 - 27th September 2013. Red Gallery, Old Street, London. Showcasing artworks by postgraduate students and graduates from the Fine Art departments of The Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (AVU) and the Royal College of Art, London (RCA). Artists: Louise Ashcroft, Jiří Bouma, Jakub Geltner, Marlene Haring, Richard Hards, Russell Hill, Alžběta Josefy, Kryštof Kaplan, Vesta Kroese, Lina Lapelyte, Harry Lawson, Vojtěch Pálka, Klára Pernicová, Kateřina Tichá, Amelia Newton Whitelaw. See more.
8 Bit, at Kingsgate Gallery, West Hampstead, London. 16-18 August 2013. Curated by Tom Milnes, Marcus Orlandi, Yana Naidenov. Artists: Aaron Head (UK), Emile Zile (AUS/NL), Daniella Valz Gen (Peru), Louise Ashcroft (UK), Samantha Thole (NL), Petr Davydtchenko (S) Tom Milnes (UK), Marcus Orlandi (UK). Video highlights of performances. To view my performance in full clickhere.
Talking about Economy, at Performance Studies International (Psi#19) Conference, Stanford University, USA. Curated by Gigi Argyropoulou & Katerina Paramana. Screening of 'It's Lovely Isn't It?' (collaboration with Noga Inbar).
21st Century Art and Design – RCA 2013. Selected works from the Royal College of Art design and fine art degree shows 2013. Curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Philippe Garner (Christie's director of twentieth century decorative art and photographs) and Jeremy Morrison (senior director of twentieth century decorative art and design). The show includes more than 50 works and projects selected from the College's recent graduate show. Tuesday 9 July, 9am-8pm Wednesday 10 July- Friday 12 July, 9am-4.30pm. Christie’s, King Street Gallery, 8 King Street, St. James's, SW1Y 6QT
Royal College of Art Degree Show, June 2013. Collaborating with Noga Inbar, Harry Lawson, Lina Lapelyte, Oliver Roy, Jack Tan, Marlene Haring and Vesta Kroese. Royal College of Art Sculpture Building, 15 Howie Street, Battersea, London.
Permaculture - v - Monoculture lunch with Lise Hovesen from Standart Thinking. 25th June 2013. Royal College of Art Sculpture Building, 15 Howie Street, Battersea, London.
Words to be Spoken Aloud, at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Curated by Ruth Beale and Nicole Bachmann. 8 - 11th March 2013.
Work in Progress, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London. Private View - 5th February 2013.
Capturing the Glendalough Waterfall - New collaborative work by Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins. RCA Sculpture Project Space, 15-25 Howie Street, London. 20th January 2013, 2-6pm.
OPEN PLAN, 55 Gracechurch Street, London. A group project with my peers from RCA Sculpture and AltMFA the alternative masters course. Part residency, part exhibition, part research project. Beginning January 2012. For more information see our blog. I am coordinating the space and contributing to exhibitions, collaborative work and events.
Works in Progress, Contributer to Graham Hudson's project commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, London.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries - Speaker (with AltMFA) at the Salon on Alternative Educational Models, Institute of Contemporary Art, London. Friday 7th December.
Middle Land: Responses to Drawing. 12th November - 12th December 2012. 22 Gas Street, Birmingham. Open Fridays and Saturdays 12-4pm. A group show of work by artists in and around RCA sculpture.
Geographies of The Artists Studio #2 - Launch Event. 18th October 2012 6-9pm, Griffin Gallery, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ. Launch of Ashcroft's book (published by Squid & Tabernacle) and artist's talk. The book is available to buy at ICA and Whitechapel Gallery shops.
Geographies of The Artists Studio, 12 October – 3 November 2012. Griffin Gallery, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ. Group show with Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom, Emi Avora, Kaho Kojima, Liane Lang, George Major, Elizabeth McAlpine, Annabelle Moreau, Tamarin Norwood, Stephen Walter.
Shelter Residency, September 2012. A residency in and around artist Sally Madge's stone shelter sculpture on the island of Lindisfarne. I will be inviting several artists to join me on this expedition. The journey to the island will be part of the project.
Vessel, July 2012, Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins. Sunday 15th July 2012 2pm-4pm. A sculptural procession from Paddington Basin to the Thames along the route of the lost River Westbourne.
Gathering Moraine: Prologue to a sculptural walk reactivating the river Westbourne. A score of intertextual materials and actions. 7th July 2012, 10am-12pm, Goldsmiths College London. Part of the MA Art Writing degree show (invited by George Major).
MICROCOSM, 14th June - 31st August 2012. A group show. Ellington building, Leeds Valley Park, Leeds LS10 1AB.
HOARD: Towards an Archaelogy of the Artist's Mind, material-based research project culminating in a publication. Leeds, February - December 2012.
Sustainability at Oxford Botanic Gardens, 6th April- 19th May 2012
Forehead 2 (collaborative piece with AltMFA), Sauna, Hoxton. 31st March - 1st April 2012.
On Bread Alone (group show), Nexus, Manchester. 19th April - 17th June 2012.
Boeing Way to Gas Street (group show), Birmingham, 25th April - 25th July 2012
Peripatetic Residency, curated by Squid & Tabernacle, February - May 2012. A publication will be made documenting my journey.
Streaming Festival 2011, The Hague, 1/12/11 - 18/12/11. Selected short film and video art festival.
16 Spaces talk at LOW&HIGH's The Visitors- a series of guest lectures curated by TRANSPORT and Zbigniew Kotkiewicz as part of Folkestone Trienniale. 16th July 2011.
The Journey as a Site for Creative Practice: A Symposium on a Train Ride to Folkestone. 25th June 2011. Curated and performed by Louise Ashcroft and Helene Kazan.
Circuit, an outdoor exhibition event in Margate curated by Pavilion. This was a collaborative project made by members of AltMFA. 26th March 2011.
Soanyway Magazine, Over and Over issue, Edited by Derek Horton and Lisa Stansbie. ISSN 2043-6408.
Conical: A Symposium led by William Mackrell (a No I in Art collaborative project). 16th December 2010.
The Wheel Halloween Music Festival at Cecil Sharp House (in association with the ICA). Artists' procession curated by Matthew Cowan.
Live Fridays, Modern Art Oxford. 15th October 2010. Performance.
Rhizomatic, Departure Gallery, London, October-November 2010.
PROP, Departure Gallery, London. Setember-October2010.
Stardust Boogie Woogie, Monika Bobinska Gallery, London. July 2010.
All Systems Go, Departure Gallery, London. June-July 2010.
A Tender Cut, Fold Gallery, London Fields. June 2010.
The Middle of Nowhere: Objects and Actions in the Abyss, Departure Gallery, London. 5th-8th March 2010.
London Vox, Red Gate Gallery, Brixton, London. January-February 2010.
Michael Landy: Art Bin, South London Gallery, London, February 2010. Participating artist.
Mythical Lyrical, Sueli Turner Gallery, London. November 2009-January 2010.
Trident Way 2: The Southall Project, Departure Gallery, The International Trading Estate, London. December 2009.
Trident Way, Departure Gallery, The International Trading Estate, London. October 2009.
Ouroboros, New work by Louise Ashcroft and Floss Cobb at Finspace, London N4, August 2009.
Boeing Way, Departure Gallery, The International Trading Estate, London. April- May 2009.
House, a site-specific installation, made in collaboration with Lucie Galand, for Brasenose College Arts Festival, May 2008.
Wrecking Ball, an exhibition of work by Damien Hirst assistants, December 2007
Re-Formation, Christ Church Spitalfields, London, March-April 2007.
Tunnel, Projects at Christ Church, Christ Church Spitalfields, London, 2005.
Moroccan Dream, The 20th Century Theatre, Portobello Road, London. 2004.
Atomic Art Bomb, Modern Art Oxford, Pembroke Street, Oxford, 2004.
Hay House, (solo show) organised by Projection, Godstow Nunnery ruins, Oxford, 2004.
Seedy Rushes, a site-specific exhibition in Oxford Botanical Gardens, 2003.
The Turl Street Arts Festival, Jesus College Oxford. 2003.
Oxford / Lyon at BF15 Gallery, Place de la Terrace, Lyon, France, 2002.
Tele-Spectators (solo show), The Dolphin Gallery, Oxford, 2002.
Art15 Magazine (forthcoming)
Ceri Hand's blog June 2013.
The Times, May 2013
Artlicks Magazine, May 2011.
The Spectator, October 2010.
The Culture Show 28 January 2010.
BBC World Service, September 2010.
Ute Meta Bauer
Brasenose College Oxford
Website content copyright of Louise Ashcroft 2016.