SHONAGH SHORT

SHONAGH SHORT (@dirtisdanger) – 12th March – 17th March.

Hello! I’m Shonagh Short, also known as @dirtisdanger – I’m a socially engaged artist from the North West of England, and I have officially taken over! My work explores the language of dirt and the politics of cleaning, particularly in relation to working class women and communities (by the end of the week this will hopefully make sense). Feel free to comment and get involved…

‘I wish my wife was this dirty’, spray tan on skin, 2017. This piece was created in collaboration with a local women’s group, who all completed an accredited spray tanning course as part of the project, and used found text as seen on the back of a white van. The work then toured (in situ) to the Costa Del Sol.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles is one of my heroes and a major influence on my work, particularly her Maintenance Art Manifesto (1969). What is process driven art but pure maintenance… “MY WORKING WILL BE THE WORK” #feministart#sociallyengagedart #maintenanceart

The Unsanitary Garden, 2018. Free kits containing cress seeds, a sanitary towel and growing instructions were given away at Hanover Gallery Preston and across the UK via insta. I’m interested in how much of what we think of as clean or dirty/sanitary or unsanitary/fresh or soiled etc is in the mind, and how that relates to taboos around the female body. The project was used to promote a period poverty campaign, and will be performed again in Limerick in May 2019 as part of a menstruation arts festival, including a big egg and cress sandwich picnic! #sociallyengagedart #feministart#unsanitary #exhibition#participatoryart #menstruation#periodpositive

‘Drain On Society’, 2018. Adhesive vinyl. PR1 Gallery, Preston. I had been making work in response to a so called ‘sink’ estate, which I was asked to present in a ‘white cube’ space. This work was a playful attempt to connect them – by adding a giant plughole the white cube becomes a sink. It throws up some interesting questions about art, class and society and the metaphors we use. I’d love to revisit this (any galleries out there fancy inviting me?) and next time I will make sure I get some decent pictures… #emergingartist #gallery#politicalart #sociallyengagedart

The Clean Garden, 2017. A community garden full of herbs and flowers that can be used to create natural cleaning products. As we worked we talked about the positive associations between dirt and hard work, and dirt and authenticity. The shape of the word is no longer visible but the garden is still standing strong. Anyone is welcome to take a cutting (you’ll now find mint and lavender in gardens all across the estate) or just enjoy the space (it smells divine) #sociallyengagedart #emergingartist#participatoryart

Turns out no one looks too closely at signs that appear familiar 🙂 #foundtext #appropriationart#emergingartist #sociallyengagedart#politicalart

More signs! These are fun in institutional buildings, easy to ‘install’ but try to take a picture and people suddenly realise there’s something not quite right… Luckily, here’s one (several) we made earlier 🙂 #sociallyengagedart#appropriationart #politicalart#emergingartist #guerillaart

‘Down and Dirty Dinner Party’, 2017. An early dialogical intervention (scroll through for instructions!) #sociallyengagedart#emergingartist

Massive untitled piece for XX marks the spot exhibition, 2018 – found text from 1953 Spring edition of Housewife magazine embroidered on to dust cloths #feministart#womenartists #emergingartist

Work in progress, or ‘I have no idea where I’m going with this’… I’ve been collecting images of women pegging out the washing for a couple of years now (like all normal people). Recently I read an essay about the work of artist Annette Messager, and it inspired me to start cataloguing the collection into different poses/gestures. This pose (see second pic) is my favourite because take the line away and the women could be dancing, or giving praise, or celebrating. I’ve been playing around with making repeating patterns to reflect the repetitive nature of the task (first pic) but its a bit too 2D for my liking. Maybe it needs to be performed? Oh great and wise creative community of Instagram, any ideas? 🙂 #workinprogress#emergingartist #feministart#collaborate 

Care Instructions Part 1 – The Project. I interviewed women from the Johnson Fold estate, Bolton, about the most precious thing they clean. In return for their time I took in a bag of dirty washing from each woman, washing, drying, ironing and folding. I then added a new care label to an agreed item of clothing. Although the process was documented, the individual care labels remain private between me and the participant. #sociallyengagedart #exchange#domestic #invisible #labour#wearableart #secretart#maintenanceart #everydayart#emergingartist 

Care Instructions Part 1 – The Project. I interviewed women from the Johnson Fold estate, Bolton, about the most precious thing they clean. In return for their time I took in a bag of dirty washing from each woman, washing, drying, ironing and folding. I then added a new care label to an agreed item of clothing. Although the process was documented, the individual care labels remain private between me and the participant. #sociallyengagedart #exchange#domestic #invisible #labour#wearableart #secretart#maintenanceart #everydayart#emergingartist

Care Instructions (this time with light and sound!), as seen at Ingenious Ones III, an incredible night of art and performance curated by @excessive.human.collective – images by Matilda Maginnis #Leeds

Home truths from the Care Instructions zines #sociallyengagedart#emergingartist #zine #everydayart

My happy place. I’m still a bit pissed off I wasn’t allowed to permanently install this, apparently we need the washing line for drying actual clothes 🤷‍♀️ #colour #joy#washingline_love

‘… Bred by Filth and Scum’. Found text recreated in cross stitch and framed in a DIY light box, 2017. #textart #sociallyengagedart#emergingartist #foundtext

That’s me done for the week, Im handing back control of the account after this post (😭) but please stay tuned as another amazing artist is about to take the residency reins. If you’ve liked my work then why not follow me back to @dirtisdanger where I will be revealing all the exciting stuff I’ve got coming up next. Thank you for the likes and comments, missing you all already 😘