A selection of previous projects

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Using sound and haptic qualities of atmosphere to bring attention to the body in motion.


Gallery views, ‘Making Presence Felt’, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. 2015.

A commission by Northampton Museums and Art Gallery. Northamptonshire has a long tradition of shoe making.

In the gallery, a collection of quizzical material objects acted as thought provoking clues and the audio content drew on visitors’ memories, making connections and encouraging imaginative interpretations. A series of acoustic encounters.

Here is a short conversation with John Griff at BBC Radio Northampton about the gallery installation and its development:

To extend the reach and impact of the gallery presentation, I worked with director Mark Gill and The Chase Films to create a short, experimental film. Watch the film below.

Listen, see what you hear…

( headphones recommended)


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Back in April 2006, I asked a group of local craftsmen to create the three contrasting houses of folklore, in a gallery setting. The project was stimulated by council plans for urban renewal at a site nearby. The research stages of the project  brought valuable opportunities to observe each craftsman at work, to document their embodied skills, and listen to their opinions about relationships between art, craft and making a living.

The ‘pig’ scale of the finished installation allowed each perfect little house to be experienced close up. People could pat the thatched roof and sniff its grassy scent, slide their hands along the cool elegant surface of the polished wood, examine the slate’s veins of fossils, or count the run of the dry gritty bricks, as they imagined living inside each space. To add tension and context, a looped film sequence of the demolition of three 1960’s residential ‘slum’ tower blocks nearby, was also shown.

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Architect’s visualisation of Moor Lane flats, opened in 1962. Demolished in November 2001.

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Below is a short animation about building the houses over 3 days in the gallery.

The skills of the craftsmen were self-evident and brought tacit integrity to the work. The communal familiarity of the story, and the sensual intimacy of the installation combined to show visitors to the gallery that the materiality of man-made things: in this case the houses’ qualities of construction, materials, odour, touch and feel, are our practical means to objectify myth, morality, identity, community and  social values.  How ideas, experiences and emotions are made tangible …… real.

After three weeks, I became ‘The Big Bad Wolf’ when the houses were broken up, to make way for the next exhibition.

Project Credits:

Project concept, design and management, photography and video creation by Fiona Candy. Thanks to Barry Milne, Barry Turner, Dominic Rogan, Harold Wignall; Ben Casey; John Turner Ltd; Jenny Rutter at Pad Gallery, Preston; Arts Council England. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” played by Henry Hall’s BBC Dance Orchestra (1930).

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Visiting Exhibition

Where visitors were both spectators and exhibits. Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK. 2002

We made 100 individual photographic portraits of visitors to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery during the week before Christmas. These were later brought together at life size, to form a 35 metre digital inkjet montage, displayed on the two central stairways of this imposing, historic public building.

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10 harris8 harrisOther visitors responding  to the finished ‘people-scape’ in situ,  told us that they recognised several of the people in the photographs. They were “familiar strangers”, having previously been noticed in the building or out and about in the city.

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The stairway portraits revealed subtle inter-connections between the people using the building and confirmed their subjects’ mutual status as rightful visitors and members of the Harris’ community.  Each seemed to tacitly inquire via the directness of their gaze, about the intentions of others as they traveled up and down the stairs, past the photographs. A chance to politely stare at fellow members of the public.

6 harrisThe images also recorded clothing, jewellery, hats and hair styles. At the end of the project the Harris agreed to archive our visual study of the ‘social persona’ of this public building, within their social history collection.

 Project credits

Creative production team: Fiona Candy, Andy Mairs and Susan Rathmell. Thanks to Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston, UK. Arts Council England, Artech. 2002.

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In memory of my lovely friend, Susan  Rathmell.

The Fabric of Society: denim and identity

A study of the paradoxical relationship between mass manufactured clothing and individuality. Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

“Denim’s popularity owes much to its physical properties that allow it to mould to the idiosyncrasies of the human body, to reveal and define the body. This mass manufactured fabric becomes mysteriously human over time, gradually personalised until the garment appears to signify the life of its wearer.”

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Above: ‘Shroud’. Digital image included in ‘Indigo a Blue to Dye For’ Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. Touring throughout UK 2005-2006.
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Above: ‘Social Climbing’. Denim clad figures await their chance to climb up, and look at themselves in a mirror. From Personal Uniform, PR1 Gallery, 2005.
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From Personal Uniform, 2005.
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Above: ‘The Body Dictionary’ from The Fabric of Society 2004.
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Haptic gestures

A publication relating to this research is here



Changing Rooms

Timed to coincide with the 2005 General Election.


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Candy:Changing RoomsBoth the electoral poling booth and the retail changing room offer privacy and the promise of transformation.

Perhaps a reference to the growing influence of what has been called ‘Identity Politics’, this interactive installation linked digital images of fashion and clothing with icons of democracy, to ask questions about the workings of personal and group identity, connections between the market and the electorate and the possibility of social fragmentation.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 07.24.20The polling station format and its related ballot combined to ask style conscious voters to compare and contrast their personal concepts of individuality with the collective responsibilities of the body politic.

On entering the gallery, visitors responded to a set of initial questions, and were then asked to view video imagery conveying people’s identity, their style of dress and appearance (both historical and contemporary), in each of the 4 polling booths. They were then able to revisit the same questions and have the chance to change their minds –  as they recorded their vote.

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Special thanks to Rotterdam-based artists Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroekt, for inclusion of elements of their Exactitudes series. See https://exactitudes.com

and to the North West Film Archive (NWFA) at Manchester Metropolitan University for access to archive footage https://www.nwfa.mmu.ac.uk

Thanks to Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their support.

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Observing clothing in action: being worn

INHABITANTS research project. 2005-2006

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The Wardrobe and Wellbeing

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Working in the gallery with  students

I devised an annual project for 2nd Year BA (Hons) Textiles to encourage team working, gallery methods, presentation skills and market awareness. The year group worked in small teams to develop concepts related to a cohesive theme, create artworks and promote the exhibition to a target audience, including hosting their own private view.

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Above: from Moving in Colour, 2014. Special thanks to Feixia Yu.
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Above: student work from Sympathetic Magic, 2008 (left) and The Beauty of Diagrams, 2009 (right)
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Above: from Count on It, 2012 (left) and Future Fables, 2013 (right and below)

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The Spoleto Festival, Italy

I assisted renowned British Illustrator David Hughes and the Italian workshop team, in the design and manufacture of costumes for a production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ in Spoleto, Umbria. The opera began preparation in Autumn of 1997 and was performed during the two weeks of Festival dei Due Mondi, June 1998.

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Above: recent outdoor music performance in Piazza del Duomo, Spoleto Below: a view of the interior of the opera house in Spoleto, where the 1998 Vixen production took place.

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Images include some of David’s initial costume sketches (unfortunately images are low resolution).

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The Chief Hen and the Hens (above)
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The Fox (above left) and the Mosquito (right) plus the Dog (below). The giant, painted sculpture representing the costume of the Gamekeeper, moved on rails across the stage.

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The Vixen being taunted by Frantik and Pepik

Captured in Motion

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Image: taken from ‘Moving in Colour’ 2014. Special thanks to Feixa Yu.

Walking in Circles

Mindful walking: revealing embodied, grounded geometries, in the Motion Capture Studio, at University of Central Lancashire.

We used motion capture technology to transcribe walking movements,  as steps were overlaid in time and space. In this case, multiple reflective markers were attached to each foot.

The delicate qualities of the spiral form made visible in this way, appear as though ‘stitched’ in to, or ‘woven’ on to the ground, with each footstep.

Once  the palimpsest spiral is completed,  the other ‘end’ of it begins to unravel…

The first mo-cap sequence zooms in from various angles. And in the sequence below, the walking is seen from one side only:


Standing at the centre: connective geometries.

In Mo-cap studio: multiple camera views converging.

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