step behind the scenes of mirror maze and meet es devlin and the other women who make space

Cheryl Dunn's video Making Spaces takes a look behind the scenes at the making of Es Devlin's immersive installation Mirror Maze and features interviews with other innovators of today - learn more about them here. 

Directed by the prolific New York-based photographer and documentary filmmaker Cheryl Dunn, Making Spaces takes a look behind the scenes of set designer Es Devlin's immersive installation Mirror Maze and features interviews with other creators whose groundbreaking use of space make them the exemplary innovators of today. Get to know more about them below.

Hannah Barry is a curator and founder of both her namesake gallery and cultural organization Bold Tendencies in Peckham, London.

"I work with artists to make things possible. With the gallery, I work predominantly with new art and emerging artists. I don't like to be held into one specific category or other. There are a lot of great women artists making extraordinary contributions not just to art being made today, but art that will be seen in 100 years time. There's a great quote by Gertrude Stein that goes something like, ‘what young artists need is not criticism, but praise. They know well enough what is wrong with their work, what they don't know is what is right about it."

Janina Pedan is the London-based set designer whose extraordinary touch can be felt on sets far and wide throughout the fashion world.

"I was born in the Ukraine, my family moved to Sweden when I was six, just before the fall of the Soviet Union. Moving from one culture to another, you don't take the structures about how things should be done so seriously because from a very young age I had the experience of it being done in a completely different way in a different place. With set designing, you have take a risk and to try things beyond your competence, that’s how you move forward. My main inspiration comes from outside of art - from nature and science. I've always been really sensitive to objects, to environments. I find it impossible to live in a place which is devoid of any sensory pleasure somehow."

Architect and designer Pernilla Ohrstedt’s practice sees her working seamlessly across the architecture, design, art and fashion worlds.

"While I was studying at Central St. Martins I discovered the many ways architecture could be like art. Architecture is, by its nature, an experimental field, because you're always creating spaces for new situations.  You just have to get on with it, get it created and get it out there. The architecture I do today is really about performance – all projects are performance pieces. I think there's a kind of empowerment in owning your surroundings or even understanding that you can transform your surroundings."

New York-based Grace Miceli is an illustrator and curator of the online exhibition space, Art Baby Gallery, which she founded in 2011.

"The primary focus of Art Baby is to feature emerging, traditionally under-represented artists. When you're 21 and don't have any money, you can't open a space. What I was looking for didn't already exist, so I just decided that I was going to do it myself and the internet was just a way for me to easily do that. As I’ve evolved as an artist and a curator, I'm more interested in the relationship between online and offline. I want there to be a fluid relationship between that because my generation goes back and forth between those lives constantly. Women artists of my generation have grown up online with this greater sense of solidarity and community that we've been able to find that surpasses geographic location."

Assemble are the London-based Turner Prize winning collective who work across the fields of architecture, art, and design.

"We work on quite a broad range of projects: we’re a collective working in the architecture world, although we're not architects and we don't brand ourselves as things.  When it comes to experimenting, so many of the exciting things happen at moments of failure. When something goes what might be perceived as wrong is when you actually begin to start seeing new possibilities. Part of the ability to be creative is the knowledge that you can't be perfect. Understanding that something that is not about wrong and rights, but is about a process of things happening one after another which you can begin to develop and work on, is really fundamental to understanding what it is to be creative."

Xaviera Simmons is the multidisciplinary contemporary artist from New York whose work incorporates performance, photography, video, sound, sculpture and installation.

"I make so many different types of works because I feel very much awake to a creative flow in the environment. There's nothing that can pass me by at this moment in my life that doesn't stimulate some creative expression. As I mature as an artist, I think about how I can go beyond myself and take risks in a way that will benefit other generations. I want to make a world where young women can feel like they can make a living where they don't have to make sacrifices."

This Week

picture this

You’ll be familiar with the term ‘male gaze’ – a phrase coined by feminist critic in Laura Mulvey in 1975. And unless you’ve been hiding under a large rock for several decades, you will have certainly come into contact with it: think any  film, photograph, or  TV show that’s made for the male viewer.

But the tide is turning. Be it the internet, accessibility to cameras or simply the introduction of the first front-facing camera (thanks, Apple), a growing number of the photographs we look at on a daily basis are being taken by women. In the last five years, an unprecedented wave of female photographers has taken the art world by storm, grabbing people's attention with their pictures of women (and themselves). This is the central theme of journalist Charlotte Jansen’s new book, Girl on Girl, in which she interviews 40 artists from 17 different countries. The project is pro-women, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s solely about feminism. “No one would ever say: ‘oh you’re a man, your work must be comment on masculinity,’” Jansen explains. “Yet it’s almost as if you have to start with that question as a woman. Most women are like: ‘of course I’m a feminist’, that’s obvious, right? But it doesn’t mean everything I do is about that.”

To wit: this isn’t simply about ‘female photography’ (there’s no such thing, Jansen says), but addressing and challenging the ways in which the media write about these women.

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In her own words, Jamila Johnson-Small is interested in dance as a “radical social proposition”. She means this quite literally. And in fact, this quality of “radicality” – a potent combination of power and resoluteness – is palpable in Jamila’s presence, both onstage and in person.

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step behind the scenes of mirror maze and meet es devlin and the other women who make space

Cheryl Dunn's video Making Spaces takes a look behind the scenes at the making of Es Devlin's immersive installation Mirror Maze and features interviews with other innovators of today - learn more about them here. 

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Lucy Moore is co-owner of London’s most iconic bookstore, Claire de Rouen, a long-standing source of inspiration for fashion designers, artists and students alike. Here we sit down to chat all things Claire de Rouen and she shares with us five of her favourite books that celebrate female sensuality. 

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What happens if you lose your sense of smell and how does this affect your memory?

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