Hannah Honeywill

Hannah Honeywill


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    PhD Project

    (Art)efact as memorial: a queer interrogation of the material embodiment of loss during pandemic.

    On the studio floor, I drew out with white and black chalk a facsimile of Camille on her deathbed, a painting by Claude Monet (1879). In this painting, Monet records Camille, his wife, moments before she dies. My drawing remained on the floor for people to walk through, scuffing and degrading it with each step. I photographed it over time to evidence this erasure. I printed these photographs and cut them into thin strips weaving them into their final resting place, an old metal bed frame. I had made a memorial to the loss of my mother. Twenty years on, I am living in a global pandemic; once again, I am facing loss, albeit a very different kind. Witnessing the national and global death tolls has become a daily routine. My attention, as an artist-researcher is turned to how artwork can embody this ubiquitous loss and question if the traditional terms and conditions of memorial making are expansive enough to embody the ubiquitous loss of COVID -19 pandemic. 


    I will critique memorial making through a feminist/ queer methodology as a means to challenge and disorientate the monument from binary classifications. Beyond the concept of the counter-monument (Young, 1996) with the provocation and development of a new Queer Monumentality.


    Despite queer studies being part of academic/artistic scholarship for 20+ yrs, it is rarely understood as offering an epistemological frame encoded in the actual materiality of an artwork. This is partly due to the fact that until recently, queer was understood as part of identity politics with a sociological/ethnographic basis (Viegener: 2008; Rogers: 2010; Mooney: 2014). For various reasons (inc. feminist/intersex/transgendered impact), queer now encompasses something more nuanced than binary identities and is beginning to name, embody and express sensuous logic as multiple, diverse and radically transformative (Barad: 2010; Golding: 2016; Metherell: 2012). I will engage queer methodologies to critique and reorient the dominant signification of memorial materiality (Ahmed 2006). I will investigate the canon of public memorial making, including materials, production methods, fabrication and studio environment, I will investigate how the praxis of witnessing and testimony can activate material as an agent to memorialise private loss and public memory (Schuppli: 2020; Skeilh: 2019). I will critically reflect through my own art practice and experience of making from a feminist/queer perspective. 

     I will investigate Barads (2010) analysis of Hauntology and entanglement and Deleuze’s (1994)analysis of identity through difference and repetition as strategies to contribute to the development of a new queer monumentality and how might the concept of the ‘queer monumentality’ contribute to queer theory/art? 

    Education/Academic qualification

    Fine Art, MA, Birmingham City University

    Sep 2012Sep 2013

    Award Date: 6 Sep 2013

    Visual Art (Sculpture), Degree, University of the Arts London

    Sep 1999Jul 2002

    Award Date: 5 Jul 2002

    External positions

    Visiting Lecturer, Leeds Arts University


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