View all news

Bristol University artist's work goes on show in New York

Terry Flaxton at work on 'In Other People's Skins'

Terry Flaxton at work on 'In Other People's Skins'

Press release issued: 21 June 2010

An installation by Terry Flaxton, AHRC Creative Senior Research Fellow in the University of Bristol’s Department of Drama, opens to the public at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York City – the largest cathedral in the world – this month.

Inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, Flaxton’s installation In Other People's Skins uses experimental High Definition technology to explore the spiritual possibilities of the dinner table and cross-cultural and religious boundaries.

At the heart of the cathedral, a table is set up for supper with 12 virtual diners, whose life-sized hands and arms appear as projected images that play across the surface of the table.  Visitors are invited to take a seat and, as the ethereal images flow over their own skin, they inhabit the skin and movement of another person, blurring the lines between the real and the virtual.

Previously seen at Bristol Cathedral and six other cathedrals across the UK, In Other People's Skins has also toured to Malta, Italy and Sweden and has been experienced by around 100,000 people.  It is estimated that another 100,000 visitors will enjoy the installation in New York.  

Terry Flaxton said: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to take my work to the United States and show it in such a beautiful and impressive building.” 

Flaxton will also travel to China later this month to represent the University of Bristol at a conference in Xi'an and show In Other People's Skins to another international audience.

While in China, he will also make a new High Definition portraiture film, featuring a variety of people posed singly and in groups looking directly at the camera.  Flaxton has shot other portraiture works in New York, Venice and, closer to home, Glastonbury Tor.  In 2009, he made Centenary Portraits at the University of Bristol, a 12-minute film featuring around 200 students and staff.

This portraiture series, along with other works made during his Fellowship at the University, will feature in a large scale show at the new Westminster University Gallery in London this December.

Terry Flaxton has been a video artist since 1976, as well as an acclaimed cinematographer.  His work has been screened on TV, exhibited at festivals worldwide and has received numerous awards and nominations.  In October 2007, he took up the position of Research Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Bristol's Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television.  He was recently awarded a Knowledge Transfer Fellowship by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Edit this page