Welcome to resident artist Hester Reeve

CPVA proudly welcomes Hester Reeve to King’s College this spring as one of our two artists in residence. Hester Reeve was selected from nearly a hundred applications to our open call last year to attend John Callanan’s lecture series on Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, in support of her own research project which will explore how thinking conceptually about art’s possibilities can facilitate new agendas for making, composition and materials. After attending a lecture series during the coming term, Reeve will share a residency at Kunsthuis SYB later this year with fellow artist in residence Siobhán Tattan.

Hester Reeve’s  practice balances the urge for producing ‘stuff’ with a longstanding investment in thinking as a type of making. In this, she is interested in how thinking conceptually about art’s possibilities forces new agendas for making, composition and materials. Her practice employs a wide range of mediums – incorporating live art, drawing, sculpture, writing, lens based media and David Bohm’s concept of dialogue, a concept that encourages the free exchange of ideas and information between participants in an attempt to reach a common understanding equally and nonjudgmentally.

For the residency, Hester will be attending Dr John Callanan‘s lectures on Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals in the Department of Philosophy, which will form the basis for the research and development of new work. The thoughts developed in these lectures, such as ‘how do some questions regarding human nature and morality actually go beyond the very limits of knowledge itself?’, hold particular meaning for Hester, whose practice frequently touches upon the status of the artist as a moral agent. Her residency will develop around the questions that follow from this fact. First, how can the evocation of moral capacity within the human being become conceptualised without words? And second, does this indicate that morality is a fundamentally creative enterprise between a human subject and existence’s materialities?

Hester Reeve gained a BA in Fine Art at Northumbria University, which included a formative year of study at the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon graduating she lived and worked abroad in a variety of artistic contexts most notably in former Czechoslovakia where she volunteered with environmental NGOs under the auspices of the Institute of Cultural Affairs eventually setting up an independent oral history project.

Upon her return to the UK, Hester set up innovative teaching sessions and artistic projects at HMP Lancaster Castle before entering the academy. She is co-founder of the Emily Davison Lodge, an associate of Prison Dialogue and a member of Performance Philosophy international research network and currently Reader in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Recent public works were staged at Tanzquartier, Vienna (as part of Philosophy on Stage 4), Tate Britain (working under the umbrella of the Emily Davison Lodge) and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. At the latter she presented Ymedaca, a two-year project in which she worked with Plato’s banishment of the artist.

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