Helen Anna Flannagan

, Gugan Gill

, Sophie Huckfield

, Seema Mattu

Moving Image Display

30 March – 13 April 2024



Private View: Friday 29 March 6-9

Two Queens Presents Moving Image Display. An exhibition of Moving Image Artworks by Artists from The Midlands.

Shifting through spaces and settings; kebab shops, family homes, archives of industry and parallel worlds. The works are connected by common social and political conscience.

The exhibition is the culmination of a series of shows focused on artist moving image and follows recent exhibitions by Tanoa Sasraku, Petra Szemán and Jennet Thomas.

Artists included in the showreel were selected as part of an Open Call by Two Queens and it is made possible by public funding from The National Lottery through Arts Council England

All films include subtitled dialogue

Helen Anna Flannagan – Gestures Of Matter (Running time 12 min 30 sec)

Gestures of Matter deals with a range of characters who embody different voices to reflect on political and economic excesses. One can watch the oscillation between extremes — of gluttonous gorging and enforced fasting, of subservient service with a smile, of scathing internet reviews, all-you-can-eat challenges and kinetic kebabs that form themselves into DNA helixes. The work is an absurd and layered reflection on terms such as “you are what you eat” — thinking more about the transactions that are present in a capitalist economy, such as consumption, desire and ethical responsibility.

Gugan Gill – Stories From Home (Running time 12 min 33 sec)

Within this documentary Gill investigates the complexities faced by South Asian Diaspora, the emotional effects notably unheard of, simply accepted and not understood, intricately and subtly sown into Stories from Home. 

These stories are an integral part of understanding our “own historically situated experience” (Kirsch and Rohan) helping us interrogate the systems we live in and helps us find our places within communities. Documenting conversations, glimpses into everyday life and delving into archives the documentary is an informative and personal pursuit in decolonising a history that isn’t taught at schools. 

Gill explores the relationship between people and place and how family transverses between space and time, using histories and narratives that operate on a global, local and personal scale based on lived experiences. Gill speaks as someone part of Punjabi Diaspora, who can trace their origins to rural Punjab.

Sophie Huckfield –  Factories Leaving The Worker (Running time 7 min 12 sec)

‘Factories Leaving the worker’ draws on archival materials from the Trade Union Resource Centre, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s digital collections and contemporary footage of demolitions in the West Midlands, UK. The work explores the promises of nationalisation, the fight against privatisation of public services, alongside the legacies of Trade Unionism in the UK. The work is rooted in the concept of ‘Ruins in Reverse’, working with this method as a way to question the present moment: how the ‘cost of living crisis’ is intrinsically connected to neoliberal policies reaching back from the 1970’s. The work seeks to collapse temporalities and challenge the present narrative which posits our living conditions as an inevitability, but one we must continually challenge.

Archive footage:

‘Our Jobs Are Not For Sale’ (1984).

Made by Unlimited Vision for WM County Council YURC Video (TURC Vivid)

‘Put People First’ (1982).

NALGO’s campaign against privatisation of public services (TURC Vivid)

‘Avtar Singh Jouhl on the IWA and the Trade Union Movement’ (1991-92)

Birmingham Black Oral History Project (BMAG Digital Archives)

Seema Mattu – a song and dance about song and dance (Running time 9 min 1 sec)

A main component of Seema’s first solo exhibition, The Scrawny Beauties of Ethni City (2023) at QUAD, Derby (UK), included a large installation mimicking a real-life carousel. Inside this, sat a song and dance about song and dance (2023) – a mixed-media animation introducing the origins of Engodamy. This is the ongoing, unfolding narrative inside SEEMAWORLD’s planet Youterus, where themes of caste, queer sorcery and gender are unearthed through fantastical storytelling. 

The work is fused with archival footage, MAHARANEE OF BARODA (1930), to explain the relationship between Youterus and Earth – and the Youteran understanding of Earth’s Devadasi’s. a song and dance about song and dance (2023) has been made through amalgamations of: 3D modelling, character creation, CGI, moving image and personal footage to give a layered, textured aesthetic and enhance the element of fantasy to really immerse viewers.