Artist Talk | Making work with long-covid knowledges
16 June 2022

A recording of an online talk between artist/researcher-in-residence Rowena Harris and writer and curator Susanna Davies-Crook that took place on 16 June 2022. 

Culminating their residency at SPACE, Rowena Harris gave a talk followed by a discussion with curator and artist Susanna Davies-Crook. Rowena spoke about how long-covid and wider crip and feminist disability concepts and knowledges inform their art practice, together with findings from their residency that included the long-covid reading group. Focusing on a new film in progress – a work they started pre-pandemic and continued to evolve throughout their long-covid experience – they explored the idea of a work being sick, CG animation as a crip practice, and edited time as a configuration of crip time.  

The talk focussed towards the relation between crip, sick and disabled knowledges and art practice. As  a point of awareness for people sensitive to these topics, Rowena discussed some of their experiences with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) and long-covid, particularly around medical gaslighting.

The talk and discussion took place on Zoom with BSL interpretation.

About the speakers

Rowena Harris (they/she) is an artist that lives and works between London and Cambridgeshire. Their work explores the themes of chronic illness, disability and structures of ableism, often relating to the contemporary digital landscape, and spans the forms of installation, CGI filmmaking and writing. They are informed by their own experiences of ME/CFS and long-covid most recently, as well feminist, disability, queer and crip theory. Rowena is an AHRC-awarded, practice-based PhD candidate in the Art Department, Goldsmiths College, holds an MFA from the same (2010), and a BA Fine Art from Falmouth University (2008). Recent awards and residencies include the DYCP Arts Council England; Rupert Residency (LT); Sainsbury’s scholarship The British School at Rome (IT). They have recent solo exhibitions with Las Palmas (PT); The Gallery Apart, (IT); Object A; Coleman Projects (UK). And group: Trafó House, (HU); Culturegest, Fidelidade Art Porto (PT); ANGL Collective, Copperfield Gallery, Space In Between, Tenderpixel, The Bluecoat, Bloc Projects, Flat Time House (UK), Agnes Varis Centre, (NY, USA); Fondazione Memmo, Artissima, Galleria D’Arte Contemporanea O.Licini, (IT).

Susanna Davies-Crook has worked professionally in the fields of art and media for 15 years. Her experience spans the breadth of the creative industry. She has initiated and managed small and innovative artist-led projects to large-scale brand partnerships and immersive high budget exhibitions. She is a recipient of the Arts Council England DYCP Grant 2021.

Most recently she worked from concept to completion with Jefferson Hack on Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder at 180 Strand in the role of Associate Curator.

Her writing has been published internationally including in Frieze, Twin and LEAP Shanghai. She has held editorial positions at Dazed, Sleek and Exberliner and her writing has featured in several published collections and exhibition catalogues.

Having completed 7 years of fine art, cultural theory and art history education at The Royal College of Art, University of California at Berkeley, University of Leeds and University of the Arts London, she has continued to enjoy a career as a curator, writer, editor and artist.