Annabel McCourt, Electric Fence

Electric Fence was a solo show of works by Lincolnshire-based contemporary artist, Annabel McCourt. For this exhibition, McCourt’s well-known installation Electric Fence, initially conceived for Hull Minster during the City of Culture year, took over the upstairs gallery space in the Usher Gallery, alongside a series of new works specially commissioned for this 2020 exhibition. McCourt’s Electric Fence is a large-scale sculptural re-creation of an electric fence, inspired by occurrences of homophobic hate speech and utilising innovative audio technology to create an immersive and haunting experience. For over a year, Annabel has been working to design a new site-specific presentation of Electric Fence for the unique setting of the Usher Gallery. The piece will be shown alongside a neon sign work titled Happy Hour in the Harmful Factory, which references wider concerns around feminism, class and popular culture. Working closely with The Collection and Usher Gallery, over the past year McCourt has facilitated a number of workshops, inviting the people of Lincolnshire to contribute their own stories of overcoming personal barriers. These stories will be present in the gallery and they will also be shown on a purpose-built website. The exhibition also includes a new set of flags, titled Flying the Flag, designed by McCourt and housed on top of the Usher Gallery, as part of the gallery’s on-going programme of contemporary art flag commissions. During the exhibition, McCourt will choreograph a number of changes to the order of the flags. The work acts as both a playful celebration of LGBTQI+ histories and a powerful reminder of the on-going journey towards equality. To coincide with LGBTQi+ History month and this unique exhibition, The Collection and Usher Gallery is programming a series of talks around this theme, drawing links to the collection and the history of Lincolnshire.

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