French & Mottershead are the UK artist duo Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead.
Spanning performance, video, photography, sound and digital installation, their work makes use of detailed social and forensic research to expand the viewer’s relationship to site. Often working with experts as part of their process, they undertake rigorous investigations into the ways environments, architectures and public spaces connect with who we are, and define a particular context to examine the codes and conventions that underpin the flows of feeling within.
French & Mottershead have created works for galleries, museums, libraries, shops, forests, on boats, online, public footpaths, and in domestic spaces to intervene viscerally on the patterns, routines and images of daily life. Their work has been described as “poetic, playful and subtly subversive” always leaving open the possibility of radically altering the viewer’s perception of their place in the world.
In recent years French & Mottershead projects have been commissioned by Tate Modern and The Photographers’ Gallery, and they have had a solo show at Site Gallery (Sheffield). Their work has appeared in biennials and festivals at Ten Days on the Island (Tasmania, 2019), Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria / Arts House (Melbourne, 2018), Guandong Times Museum (Gunagzhou, 2018), Dark Mofo 2018 (Hobart, Tasmania), Brighton Festival (2018), In Between Time, (Bristol, 2017), Sick! at The Whitworth (Manchester, 2017), ANTI Festival of Contemporary Art, Kuopio (2017), Estuary Biennial (London, 2016), New Performance Turku (2015), Copenhagen Art Week (2014), and Up To Nature (Vienna, Bristol, Oslo, Kuopio, 2012). Selected group shows include The London Open 2018 (Whitechapel Gallery), Kills 99.9% of Bacteria, (CCA Derry Londonderry), The River Separates Water (Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh), The Ash Archive (University of Kent), Life. Death. Whatever (Sutton House, London) and Assemblies: Alt_Cph 14 (Fabrikken, Copenhagen), as well as The Homesickness Project (Logan Art Gallery, Queensland), I thought I was the audience and then I looked at you (The Gallery at NUCA, Norwich), Becoming Istanbul, (SALT, Istanbul), Centro Cultural São Paulo, and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PiCA). They have also been commissioned for temporary public installations and projects in several cities in the UK and internationally.
In 2006, French & Mottershead were selected as Thinkers-in-Residence, Live Art Development Agency in London, and invited to be Artists-in-Residence for the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow. They were chosen for the Arts Council England/British Council Artist Links England-Brazil programme in 2008, and have since undertaken residencies with arts organisations in Guangzhou, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Iasi (Romania), and Yokohama. They were invited to be City of Copenhagen Artists-in-Residence in 2014, Research Fellows at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London 2015, and Visiting Artists at University of South Florida in 2017. They received awards from Arts Council England and The Wellcome Trust to develop and exhibit their current work Afterlife.
Artists Statement, 2006