Exhibition

HORSE-PLAY

From: 16th September 2017 10:00 am

To: 31st October 2017 5:00 pm

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham NG1 6EL, United Kingdom

Twitter

@NottmCastle

Hashtag

About

16 September – 31 October 2017

Arianne Churchman has taken the folk costume worn by the Hopper Joe character in the Cropwell Bishop Plough Monday play as the focus for her performance and exhibition. The smock that was last worn in 1895 is on display in Nottingham Castle’s Threads gallery, on permanent loan from the Folklore Society.

Hopper Joe appears only momentarily during the play, but is one of the only characters to pass between audience and an informal stage. He is a farm labourer as he can plough, sow, reap and mow. His role throughout the play is to collect money from the audience and place it in the seed hopper that he carries in front of him.

HORSE-PLAY utilises Hopper Joe’s ‘ragbag’ sensibilities to explore the costumes context within The Story of English Clowning and the dubious authenticity of the smock. The Story of English Clowning was staged at Nottingham Castle in 1977 and curated by poet and exhibition designer Arnold Rattenbury (1921-1967). Rattenbury grouped folkloric objects and costumes into two categories – those involved in horseplay, and those used in the transformation of normative modes of behaviour. Hopper Joe falls into the latter.

HORSE-PLAY, a performance by Arianne Churchman, 2017, Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, image credit Simon Withers

The exhibition comes following a recent performance by Arianne at Nottingham Castle, also titled HORSE-PLAY. The performance channeled the Hopper Joe character and the 1977 procession of the Minehead Hobby Horse, which took place around the castle site and grounds. Originating from Somerset (c.1830) and traditionally performed on May Day, the brightly coloured and decorated Minehead Hobby Horse traverses the town’s borders creating a ritual space.

Arianne is the winner of the Nottingham Castle Open 2016 solo exhibition prize. Within her practice Arianne investigates British folk traditions and celebrations using performance, film, sound and sculpture. She questions how we might import or re-imagine ancient rituals, beliefs and rites within our modern life.

Image taken from The Story of British Clowning catalogue, Nottingham Castle, 1977.

Website

http://www.nottinghamcastle.org.uk/exhibitions/horse-play

More Events

Exhibition
Two Queens Members Show 2018
25th May 2018 – 26th May 2018
Two Queens, Leicestershire
Exhibition
Dylan Fox: A Manipulation Of Terms
7th April 2018 – 16th June 2018
NN Contemporary, Northants
Performance
LISTEN: The Organisation of Sound
1st June 2018 – 1st June 2018
Level Centre, Derbyshire
Exhibition
Dave Bramston JELLY: Street Fashion
5th May 2018 – 17th June 2018
The National Centre for Craft & Design, Lincolnshire