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alabamathirteen

The Outliers

Part One: The Languor

Part Two: The Wane

Part Three: The Lorn

alabamathirteen, The Outliers, 2021. Three-part moving image (3 min 30 sec). PANIC! Bursary, courtesy of The Tetley

Best experienced with headphones

Listen to a description of the artwork here:

Read a detailed description of the artwork here:

Detailed description

About

alabamathirteen (she/her) is a disabled, working-class visual artist from Leeds. Largely self-taught, her practice explores personal limitations of navigating and negotiating her memories and senses within the spaces that she occupies as a disabled woman.

This immersive digital film documents alabamathirteen’s experience as a disabled person living through a pandemic. The film weaves between issues of connectivity, confinement and isolation, and also addresses the real fear of being increasingly excluded and estranged from the world as it reopens. The talk of returning to 'normal' is merely reinforcing that 'normal' was never an option for some of us.

As part of the work, alabamathirteen transformed her bedroom into a giant camera obscura, transposing the outside world onto her interior walls. This multi-media piece combines sound recordings with static and moving imagery, filmed through her bedroom window – alabamathirteen's only connection to the outside world. This experience of isolation was heightened and shared with many people during the pandemic, but will remain an ongoing reality for her, even when this empathy has faded from the collective memory of those no longer affected. 

alabamathirteen is interested in how we exist in our bodies, places and spaces – in how our presence can be invisible, earnt, bestowed, taken and lost. Who gets to take up the most space and whose voices get to be heard the loudest? Her work is underpinned by the celebration of non-conforming bodies as acts of defiance, and a desire to contribute to diverse and inclusive narratives around disability.

 

Listen to this text here:

“The talk of returning to 'normal' is merely reinforcing that 'normal' was never an option for some of us.”
alabamathirteen

Inside the Camera Obscura

A polaroid duo of a busy suburban street with a house and high-rise flat that appears upside-down within a bedroom. A bus travels horizontally through the top half of the right image, so a streak of green and white cuts across the image. A wardrobe is centred in the right image. Colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue.
A polaroid image of four flat windows appear upside-down within a bedroom. The image covers one wall, and a murky blue sky overlaps the bed. The colours are mostly murky browns, green and blue.
A polaroid duo of an upside-down image of a two storey house (left) and high-rise block of flats (right). This image appears upside-down on an inside wall, where a lamppost cuts onto the room’s radiator. Someone’s hair appears as a shadow that is positioned centrally between the two polaroids. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue
A polaroid image of a busy suburban street that appears upside-down within a bedroom. The flats cover two walls, and the blue sky overlaps the bed. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue.
A polaroid image of the head and shoulders of the artist, with her eyes closed, overlaid with an upside-down image of a two storey house, high-rise flat and blue sky. Both layers are partially transparent, the colours are mostly pinks, purples and hints of blue.
A polaroid duo. The left image shows the artist’s head, overlaid with an upside-down image of a busy suburban street, flats appear on her face. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. The left image shows a house and an interior radiator
A polaroid image of an upside-down image of a two storey house and high-rise block of flats. This image appears upside-down onto an inside wall, where the top of the roof and a telephone wire cuts onto the room’s radiator. A shadow of a person obscures the right side of the image. The colours are mostly burnt oranges, cream and hints of blue
A polaroid duo, with the artist’s head (right image), with her eye open, overlaid with an upside-down image of high-rise flat. A two storey house takes up the left image, the colours are mostly burnt pinks, purples and hints of blue.
A polaroid image of one side of the artist’s head, with her eye open, overlaid with an upside-down image of a busy suburban street. Both layers are partially transparent, the colours are mostly burnt pinks, purples and hints of blue.
A polaroid duo. Both images show the upside-down image of a suburban street, with multiple two-storey houses. The right set of houses are more stretched. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. The left image shows a house and an interior radiator, the image of a lamppost overlaps the radiator.
A polaroid image of a flat window and vegetation appears upside-down within a bedroom. The image covers one wall, and the blue sky overlaps the bed. The colours are mostly browns, green and hints of blue and cream.
A polaroid image of a busy suburban street that appears upside-down within a bedroom. The flats cover two walls. A bus travels horizontally through the centre of the image, so a streak of green and white cuts across the image with colours that are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue.
A polaroid image of an upside-down image of a two storey house and high-rise block of flats. This image appears upside-down onto an inside wall, where the top of the roof and a lamppost cuts onto the room’s radiator. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue.
A polaroid image of an upside-down image of a two storey house and high-rise block of flats. This image appears upside-down on an inside wall, where the top of the roof and a lamppost cuts onto the room’s radiator. The flats cut into an interior door. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue.

Image Descriptions

First row, left: A polaroid duo of a busy suburban street with a house and high-rise flat that appears upside-down within a bedroom. A bus travels horizontally through the top half of the right image, so a streak of green and white cuts across the image. A wardrobe is centred in the right image. Colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue.  

First row, middle: A polaroid image of four flat windows appears upside-down within a bedroom. The image covers one wall, and a murky blue sky overlaps the bed. The colours are mostly murky browns, green and blue.

First row, right: A polaroid duo of an upside-down image of a two storey house (left) and high-rise block of flats (right). This image appears upside-down on an inside wall, where a lamppost cuts onto the room’s radiator. Someone’s hair appears as a shadow that is positioned centrally between the two polaroids. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. 

Second row, left: A polaroid image of a busy suburban street that appears upside-down within a bedroom. The flats cover two walls, and the blue sky overlaps the bed. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. 

Second row, middle: A polaroid image of the head and shoulders of the artist, with her eyes closed, overlaid with an upside-down image of a two storey house, high-rise flat and blue sky. Both layers are partially transparent, the colours are mostly pinks, purples and hints of blue. 

Second row, right: A polaroid duo. The left image shows the artist’s head, overlaid with an upside-down image of a busy suburban street, flats appearing on her face. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. The left image shows a house and an interior radiator

Third row, left: A polaroid image of an upside-down image of a two storey house and high-rise block of flats. This image appears upside-down onto an inside wall, where the top of the roof and a telephone wire cuts onto the room’s radiator. A shadow of a person obscures the right side of the image. The colours are mostly burnt oranges, cream and hints of blue. 

Third row, middle: A polaroid duo, with the artist’s head (right image), with her eye open, overlaid with an upside-down image of high-rise flat. A two storey house takes up the left image, the colours are mostly burnt pinks, purples and hints of blue. 

Third row, right: A polaroid image of one side of the artist’s head, with her eye open, overlaid with an upside-down image of a busy suburban street. Both layers are partially transparent, the colours are mostly burnt pinks, purples and hints of blue. 

Fourth row, left: A polaroid duo. Both images show the upside-down image of a suburban street, with multiple two-storey houses. The right set of houses are more stretched. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. The left image shows a house and an interior radiator, the image of a lamppost overlaps the radiator.

Fourth row, middle: A polaroid image of a flat window and vegetation appears upside-down within a bedroom. The image covers one wall, and the blue sky overlaps the bed. The colours are mostly browns, green and hints of blue and cream. 

Fourth row, right: A polaroid image of a busy suburban street that appears upside-down within a bedroom. The flats cover two walls. A bus travels horizontally through the centre of the image, so a streak of green and white cuts across the image with colours that are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. 

Fifth row, left: A polaroid image of an upside-down image of a two storey house and high-rise block of flats. This image appears upside-down onto an inside wall, where the top of the roof and a lamppost cuts onto the room’s radiator. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. 

Fifth row, right: A polaroid image of an upside-down image of a two storey house and high-rise block of flats. This image appears upside-down on an inside wall, where the top of the roof and a lamppost cuts onto the room’s radiator. The flats cut into an interior door. The colours are mostly browns, cream and hints of blue. 

Discover the other PANIC! bursary artists

This work is presented as part of the PANIC! (Promoting an Artists' Network in the Crisis) series of bursaries.

Earlier this year, PANIC! awarded four artists in Leeds City Region £5,000 and £1,000 bursaries to support the making of a new contemporary visual artwork or project. The bursaries offered space to create a voice and help us think through the new psychological, social and cultural conditions we face today.

For the £1,000 bursaries:

Kevin Devonport and Hannah Lawless

For the £5,000 bursaries:

alabamathirteen and Thahmina Begum

See their work here

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