Louise Mackenzie: transformation content

Louise Mackenzie, Lament, Dust, cotton bed sheet (2m x 2.35m)
7th March – 11thApril 2014
Preview: 6thMarch 2014, 18.00 – 20.00
Live performance of sound work: 4th March, 19.00, Ryton Methodist Church, Gateshead
Radio Broadcast: Daily at 12.30 on basic.fm and within the gallery space
Artist’s Talk and Discussion Evening: 13th March, 19.00 – 21.00

The Holy Biscuit was proud to present transformation content, a project and exhibition by contemporary interdisciplinary artist, Louise Mackenzie. In her first solo exhibition since graduating from Newcastle University in 2013, Mackenzie took fragments of a 104 year old organ, once the beating heart of a former Methodist church in Gateshead and through sound, social media and sculpture redefined the  energy of a community within a contemporary context.

Mackenzie explored the relationship between human social behaviour and the scientific construct of entropy (the term coined by German physicist Rudolf Clausius, as a way to define the define the transformation content of a body).  Taking the concept of community as a social group built around common beliefs, shared memories, songs and stories, Mackenzie considered how is this manifested in contemporary society.
The composition, Entropy was a collaboration with musicians from Newcastle University, involving the creation of a score based on a system devised by the artist.  The composition wasa recorded in Gateshead, broadcast on basic.fm and played live into the gallery throughout the exhibition. The gallery also hosted a series of workshops with  the former church congregation and local schools in East Newcastle and Gateshead, where adults and children were contribute to a social media site as an ongoing element of the work.

Louise Mackenzie, Virtue and Faith, Still from social media website project (dimensions variable)


There was an artist’s talk and discussion evening. This took place on Thursday 13th March, 19.00-21.00 and featured contributions from Durham and Newcastle Universities including Professor Robert Song (Durham University – Theology and Ethics), Dr John Lazarus (Newcastle University – Evolutionary Biology), Dr Tim Hutchings (St John’s College, Durham – Sociology of Religion) and Alexia Mellor, MFA (Tufts University, USA – Fine Art).
Exploring what it means to be human, Louise Mackenzie’s work crosses disciplinary boundaries in an attempt to understand why it is that we are compelled to make, discover and progress, rather than simply to exist. Often working collaboratively, Mackenzie generates opportunities for dialogue between art and science. With an experimental, research-based practice, she explores human evolution, past, present and future: from the origin of the species, through social and cultural evolution in the present, to genetic manipulation, the post-human and the future unknown.
Winner of the New Graduate Award at Synthesis, Manchester Science Festival (October, 2013), Mackenzie’s recent exhibitions include Arthouses, Whitley Bay Film Festival; Symbiosis, The Late Shows, Newcastle and Embassy Tea Gallery, London.
transformation content is generously supported by Arts Council England, Durham University, Newcastle University, The Methodist Church of Great Britain and basic.fm.