'Volcano Lady' by Hayley Newman was selected as the featured work for November as it is one of nearly 200 works selected from the Collection for the exhibition Revealed: Government Art Collection, opening at Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on 17th of this month.
Volcano Lady was chosen by artist/selector Cornelia Parker for Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, her display of 78 works from the Collection arranged as a colour spectrum running around one room of the gallery.
Using humour and made-up stories, Hayley Newman is best known for her performance and collaborative work. This print is in two halves and is part of a series of staged self-portraits, in which the artist is surrounded by smoke and dressed as a billowing cloud in black and white net. Newman explained that this costume was designed to resemble an erupting volcano because at the time she was interested:
in the erotic status of Vesuvius (one of the final destinations of The Grand Tour, the precursor of tourism) …. Designed to invert; while I stand upright the top of the garment represents superheated gas and ash billowing from the cone of a volcano. As I do a headstand, I reveal red tights and flamed underskirts that resemble lava flow.
Newman restaged the performance at the opening of How to improve the world: 60 years of British Art at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2006.
This work is one of 15 prints from the E3 4RR print portfolio, commissioned and produced in 2007 by the Matt's Gallery. The portfolio derives its title from the postcode of the gallery, a not-for-profit gallery space run by Robin Klassnik in East London. Other artists in the series include Fiona Crisp, Willie Doherty and Susan Hillier
Born in 1969 Hayley Newman first studied art at Middlesex University before completing a postgraduate diploma in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art in 1992. In 1995 a scholarship took her to Hamburg where she studied with leading international performance artist, Marina Abramovich.
Since the mid 1990s, Newman has exhibited and performed her work in numerous galleries and venues in the UK and abroad. Recent work includes Mini-Flux, a solo exhibition at the alt gallery, Newcastle (2008); and Bankspeak, a collaboration with artist/writer Andrea Mason, a series of performances based upon Capitalists Anonymous meetings in the city of London. Inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous '12 step programme', Bankspeak was described by the artists as a 'therapeutic intervention' or a form of outreach programme for ex-bankers.
Newman completed a PhD at Leeds University in 2001 and currently lectures part-time at the Slade School of Art.