'Dinner Machine' – Alumnus Sam Machell at Cornwall Street Project Space
Cornwall Street Project Space, a vacant retail unit at 71 Cornwall Street that has been taken over by Arts University Plymouth until February 2023 as part of the Meanwhile Use scheme, will showcase work by the arts university’s alumnus Sam Machell from 10 to 30 January 2023, with a dramatic reading to be held on Thursday 26 January at 6pm.
Sam’s exhibition, ‘Dinner Machine: The Tale of the Tattoo’d Pig’, features a dynamic range of performative, literary, and drawing practices.
'Illuminations of Dinner Machine' by Sam Machell - Photo by Helge Mruck
Sam Machell is an artist and writer based in Plymouth who graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art at Arts University Plymouth in 2020. Reflecting ecological and political anxieties, his practice is concerned with the intersection of sprawling systems and individual bodies. Writing, as both a process and a material, is positioned as the centre around which other works can orbit; the guiding fiction magnified into performances, diagrams, cartoons and videos, like the text of an illuminated manuscript. His ongoing project, the expanded fantasy novel, ‘Dinner Machine’, explores the lives and messy relationships of humans and animals within an absurdly large and complex castle.
Sam said: “Over an extravagant feast, the castle’s nobles wax philosophic. Talking with their mouths full, they discuss the ramifications and grotesqueries of the commercial meat industry. The Tattoo’d Pig in question is a magical animal who possesses the power of speech and knowledge beyond itself.”
Sam Machell performs a cross-section of 'Dinner Machine' in 2022
Working performatively within the gallery space, Sam will tattoo, tan and stitch pig skins to create marginalia for the story. This chapter will be performed in a full dramatic reading held on 26 January 2023 at 6pm. Free tickets for the performance and reading can be booked in advance on Eventbrite.
Artist and lecturer Dr Tom Milnes, whose work in the city was seen most recently transforming the Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower into the cutting-edge ‘Ashnihilation’ augmented reality experience, has curated a programme of exhibitions, window-display exhibitions and events in the city centre. Featuring artworks created by Arts University Plymouth students, graduates and staff members, the residency is part of the Meanwhile Use scheme to support imaginative projects that occupy vacant spaces in the city centre, and has been running alongside and complementing the British Art Show 9 activities taking place across the city.
Tom Milnes (centre) and 'Ashnihilation' on Plymouth Hoe
Artists already featured in the space include: BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate Molly Erin McCarthy; BA (Hons) Fine Art Lecturers and Senior Lecturers Antigoni Pasidi, Helen Billinghurst, Louise Fago-Ruskin, Paul Hillon, Sarah King and Dr Steven Paige; and an exhibition of BA (Hons) Fine Art student work by Kenya Buchanan, Richie Johnson, Nicole Ruby, Allie Dechow, Nis Murat, Beth Evans, plus H20 collective (Donna Robson, Deborah Burgman, Zac Little, and Jemima Mansell).
Alongside a number of window-display exhibitions for people passing through Plymouth city centre to enjoy, the Cornwall Street Project Space has allowed the public the opportunity to step inside to meet the artists and experience the installations up close.