Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is intentional harm towards a person's self without the intention of death. It can be a physical way to express emotions that feel limited by language or to alleviate the tension of withholding intense feelings. Through Solomons' practical research, she highlights the need for interpersonal compassion towards individuals who feel isolated with their trauma. NSSI was, and to an extent still is, judged as a defect of character.
For five years, the artist Erin Solomons utilised photographs from the American Civil War as a metaphor to critically assess embodied narratives from childhood trauma. Solomons embedded endurance performance in her research through being dragged in an American Civil War battlefield; self-induced collection of her bodily fluids; and audio-visual documentation of animal carcasses in butcheries. Through this accumulation of mediums that are historically linked to proof of trauma, Solomons fragments, refigures, and destroys their assumed validity of events. She shifts the emphasis from the results of her creative methods to her experience of making them. A corpse does not have to handle living with trauma. If anything, dead bodies are humanised out of necessity for the living. Feeling less than human, can feel like living as a corpse. We are however human we consider ourselves to be.
Free, drop-in exhibition
About Erin Solomons
Erin Solomons (1986, United States) is an artist who primarily uses bodily performance and analogue photography. She investigates childhood trauma through an emphasis on boundaries between the body and nature. Her artworks concentrate on embodied abuse, interpersonal power dynamics, generational trauma, and behavioural patterns.
She is currently finishing her Practice-based PhD at the University for the Creative Arts. Her research as been presented at institutions such as the Royal Photographic Society (2020), University of Cambridge (2017), and University College London (2016). She has also received the Wood Institute Travel Grant (2016) for her research into bodily injury and mental health during the Victorian era in America.
Solomons graduated from the Royal College of Art (2015) with a MA in Photography, and Goldsmiths College (2012) with a BA (Hons) in Art Practice. Her works have received multiple awards including the Swansea College of Art Book Award (2017), Magnum Photo Graduate Award (2016), Celeste Prize Finalist (2012), and the Warden's Purchase at Goldsmiths College (2012).
She lives and works in London, UK.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IN RESPONSE IS A NUNNERY GALLERY VENUE HIRE AND IS NOT PART OF BOW ARTS REGULAR PROGRAMMING.
Nunnery Gallery has step-free access throughout from street level which includes an accessible toilet and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system.
Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road.
If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8980 7774 (Ext. 3)
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm
Address: Nunnery Gallery, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ
Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away.
Bus:205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area.
Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Bow Church Station.