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Current Exhibition: Shadow Shame Again & Treading Water

Peltz Gallery is delighted to announce two new artwork commissions by artist Penny Siopis (South Africa) and photographer Paris Petridis (Greece), exploring gender-based violence during lockdown and the human relationship with the sea.

Subtitles, captions and audio description will be available.

Shadow Shame Again (2021) by Penny Siopis  

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in South Africa have protested ‘the other pandemic’, referring to the proliferation of gender-based violence under the conditions of lockdown. Material published by UN Women shows that gender-based violence has increased globally during this time. Penny Siopis’ video artwork responds to this situation by speaking to the visceral emotion of shame. Using footage from her collection of found 8mm home movies (acquired from flea markets and charity shops), Siopis sets fragments of image sequences to words and sound. The work is a poetic evocation of ‘shadow shame’ as something that both embodies the loss of dignity and integrity, and offers fertile ground for empathy. View the work (or audio described version).

treading water (2021) by Paris Petridis  

Just as in Britain, cold-water swimming has become increasingly popular in the Mediterranean during the pandemic. Accompanied by composer Michalis Lapidakis’ music, photographer Paris Petridis’ haunting video treading water features a series of photos, taken at a single beach in Thessaloniki, of people standing alone or socially distanced in the water. With increasing time spent staring at screens indoors, the imagery of anonymous people gazing at the horizon in a wide-open space is reminiscent of a less turbulent moment. But the artist also reminds us that the beach is not a neutral site, where in the context of 2021, images of people at sea also evoke perilous images of migrants crossing global waters. View the work (or audio described version).

About Penny Siopis
Penny Siopis is a South African artist who is also honorary professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT. Working across media, all her explorations, whether with body-politics, memory, migration and grief or the relations between the human and the non-human, are characterized by what she calls the ‘poetics of vulnerability’ – embodied in the play between materiality and reference. Amongst her many international exhibitions are her work ‘Obscure White Messenger’ (2010) exhibited at Tate Britain in 2018, and her exhibition Three Essays on Shame at the Freud Museum in 2005. 

About Paris Petridis 
Paris Petridis (PhD) is an artist photographer living in Thessaloniki, Greece. His work has been presented in solo, group shows and Biennials of contemporary art internationally. Author of eight photography monographs, his interests focus on landscape, memory and the politics of space. He is currently adjunct lecturer at the University of West Attica.


  • 'And This Too Shall Pass: Decolonizing Film' by Dr. June Givanni and Jan Asante
    • Cinema archivist Givanni and curator Asante's film revisits the era of the Black Film Bulletin, founded by Givanni and Gaylene Gould at the BFI in 1993. The film essay retraces the iconic voices of Black artists, filmmakers and cultural commentators who contributed including extracts from articles written by Black British filmmaker John Akomfrah, and interviews with pioneering director Horace Ové, veteran producer Nadine Marsh-Edwards and director Ngozi Onwurah, the first Black woman to direct a feature film in the UK.
  • 'I see you Vero, I see you Rosina: finding our common threads' by Veronica Betani and Rosina Maepa
    • Betani and Maepa live more than 1000km apart in South Africa and have never met. In the film the two artists use WhatsApp to exchange details of their lives affected by COVID-19, before they each create embroidery inspired by the conversations. The exchanges share how they create artwork at home amidst power cuts and caring responsibilities.
  • 'Particulate Matters 2.5' by Jennie Pedley
    • Artist and NHS physiotherapist Pedley's film is inspired by research into links between the pandemic and pollution. Exploring the health of both the body and the environment, the artwork poses questions about how we can live now. A scarred torso becomes the setting for this film it performs deep breathing techniques which set off a stream of ambiguous objects. Sound is by Mollusc Music.

All artworks have subtitles in English. Audio described versions of the artworks are available: This Too Shall Pass: Decolonizing FilmOur Common ThreadsParticulate Matters 2.5.