Visibly Evident
Jackie Owen
Time and Motion Study, 2019

Jackie Owen works primarily in performance and film with influences from Samuel Beckett, Bruce Nauman, Sophie Calle, Piero Manzoni and Martha Rosler.

Inspired by the Greek myth of Sisyphus, who is condemned to repeat the same pointless and strenuous task day after day – pushing a boulder up a hill only for it to roll down again – Owen uses this analogy as a basis for her Time and Motion Study to demonstrate the futility that is often encountered in life.

This performance features Owen standing in a white sterile room where she performs repetitive actions with no conclusion, using everyday items such as rice, sugar cubes, tissues and cotton wool. 

Although the actions are seemingly inconsequential – tearing, counting, shredding – there is an underlying intensity and pervading sense of anxiety running throughout the film.

Jackie Owen returned to the north of England to be near family after living in Saudi Arabia for five years, and found herself accidentally attending university to study Contemporary Fine Art at the University of Cumbria.
She currently works in Education at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle.

Her work finds its inspiration in the everyday, and highlights the hidden emotional and physical effects of everyday tasks, often including humour and the subversion of otherwise useful objects by the addition or removal of an audience, place or materials.

With an emphasis on film and performance, previous works have included Concrete Boots, the creation of a pair of boots encased in concrete, demonstrated by the artist struggling to complete the day-to-day task of walking through Carlisle – to the amusement of the onlooking shoppers (and an appearance on the Facebook group Spotted in Carlisle), and the Sock Sorting Machine, a small conveyor belt upon which an assistant placed individual socks which the artist would attempt to pair before they fell into an empty basket. This process would then be repeated with the full basket.

Group exhibitions include: ‘Anywhere & Here’, Master’s Degree final show (2018); ‘Rule 10’, Scalesceugh Hall (2017); ‘Emergence’, University of Cumbria, Degree show (2016); ‘Class of 2016’, The Double Negative at UCLan, Preston (2016); ‘Dada 100½’, The Wonder Inn, Manchester (2016).