Secret Girl is an exhibition by Leah Crossley on the art work she has produced out of the photographs she took during The Seven Kimgs - Secret Girl workshop given by Gabriella Sacco at the Magdalena Legacy and Challenge festival in Cardiff in 2011.
This suite of six images shows women of no name, neither arriving nor departing. Women in a place apart, or a space between; a reflection left behind or, perhaps, a premonition of something or someone yet to come. Ambiguous narratives are at play – to hide, to peekaboo, to be secret, to be .... Shhhh
The Secret Girl was inspired by a workshop and performance, The Seven Kimgs – Secret Girl, conceived and directed by Gabriella Sacco, with performers from Bulgaria, Colombia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Wales, Italy, USA, New Zealand, England and Ireland, and hosted within the international conference The Magdalena Project @25 - Legacy and Challenge (Cardiff, 2011). The images began as documentary-footage, subsequently evolving into creative extensions of both the process and the performance. As an active participant in the event – as performer and observer – looking, listening and learning, Leah invested the resulting documentary-images with elements of her own experience (what she felt, sensed, saw, heard and over-heard).
The props used during the live-event included dry leaves, shells, fishing-nets, seaweed and corrugated, plastic-sheeting (from the installation ' Frozen Angels' by Petyr Veenstra hosted within the performance). Leah decided to use only those photographs of the women performing behind the plastic sheets/shards. The other objects acted as additional layers, together with her separately generated collections of fruits and flowers (ie. decomposing lychee and pears, wet clay, rose petals).
The Exhibition – and its title –is also homage to the work of Francesca Woodman.
Gabriella and Leah continue to collaborate through their respective media of performance and photography. Post-looking, post-listening, post-seeing, post-sensing we endeavour to infuse these and future images of live-events with residues of dialogue, memory, theme and metaphor. Documentation of their collaboration will shortly be posted on a blog and the link available on The Magdalena Project website.