French & Mottershead are the UK artist duo Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead.
Creating multi-artform experiences that are as playful and poetic as they are subversive, French & Mottershead invite participants to think again about who they are, and their ties to place and one another.
Over the past 18 years French & Mottershead have developed a substantial body of socially-engaged, visual and participatory projects in site-specific contexts and locations. They have also shown work in galleries across the UK and internationally, including Tate Modern; The Photographers Gallery; Salt, Istanbul; Centro Cultural São Paulo; and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PiCA).
Video, performance, photography and sound are used to create tangible narratives borne out of rigorous research,working with experts to harness knowledge on a chosen subject. The roles of participants are frequently directed and framed, inviting them to become active collaborators in artworks that disturb and develop their sense of self.
Recent commissions include Over the Threshold (2011, The Photographers’ Gallery), a photography project featuring Soho residents sharing common passions and experiences; Walkways (2012, Tate Modern commission), which worked with Southwark residents to physically appropriate, reframe and film their daily walks, revealing hopes and aspirations; The River Flows Gently (2013, Yokohama, Japan) used Foley sound effect techniques to evoke distinct soundscapes with participants making sounds with their bodies, everyday objects and non-speech vocals and Brass Calls (2015, Heart of Glass commission), a sound work using fragments of speech translated from personal and public use into bugle calls that punctuated St Helen’s town square, echoing the civic back on to itself.
As a result of their work, French & Mottershead were invited to become 2015 Visiting Research Fellows at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and are frequently asked to run workshops, give talks and teach in various contexts.
Artists Statement, 2006