Kirsty Hendry, Navel Gazing (still), 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Kirsty Hendry, Navel Gazing (still), 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Kirsty Hendry
Navel Gazing

Satellites Programme


24 Oct 2020 — 22 Nov 2020  


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Collective was delighted to present Navel Gazing, a new exhibition by Glasgow based artist Kirsty Hendry.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we also presented the film here on our website until 22 November 2020.

Drawing on Kirsty’s research into the history of medicine and ventriloquism, Navel Gazing centred on the articulate and fractious character of ‘The Gut', who rails against their subjugation to the ‘rational’ brain and performs a canny inversion of the historic function of the City Observatory. Whereas the observatory here on Calton Hill once looked out into space to track the stars in transit, this exhibition explores our inner-space as a new threshold of knowledge.

Navel Gazing considered the contradiction between how our bodies are thought to communicate essential truths in our ‘gut feelings’ but are at the same time considered suspect and untrustworthy in their rhythms and changes. The Gut speaks for both our emotional lives and the corporeal pleasures, pains and fluctuations of our bodies, insisting that we are, perhaps unconsciously, being oppressed by social and political systems that seek to regulate our feelings and the habits of our bodies as un-natural.

Read more about Navel Gazing in the information which accompanies the exhibition here. Matter over Mind, an essay by Alison Scott responding to the exhibition, can be downloaded here.

Online discussion event:
There was an online discussion with artist Kirsty Hendry and performer Aby Watson hosted by Collective, on Wednesday 11th November at 6pm.

Kirsty Hendry is an artist and facilitator living in Glasgow who develops projects exploring labour, work, and the body. Selected projects include: Reader’s Digest commissioned by Market Gallery Glasgow as part of Reproductive Technologies (2019); Self-Service, publication and events programme in collaboration with Ilona Sagar at Centre for Contemporary Art and GoMA for Glasgow International 2018; So You See Me at Cooper Gallery, Dundee (2017); Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously (organised by Kati Kärki, with Jude Browning, Jake Watts and Magda Buczek), Figure 4 at Baltic 39, Newcastle, UK (2017) and Tenderpixel: Futures, ICA, London, UK (2015).

Satellites Programme is Collective’s development programme for emergent artists and producers based in Scotland. Satellites aims to support practitioners at a pivotal, emergent point in their careers through a critical programme of retreats, workshops, studio visits and group discussions, public exhibitions, events and publishing. Artists are selected from an open submission by a new panel each year. The 2020 participants are Alison Scott, Kirsty Hendry, Sulaïman Majali, Holly McLean and Becky Šik.


Kirsty Hendry: Online Discussion