Molly Palmer

GB, 1984
  • resident
    • 2019 – 2021

Artist statement

Molly Palmer’s work sits within and between the media of filmmaking, installation, sculpture and choreography. Using hand made props, sets and costumes, she green screens protagonists into layered video worlds where music, gesture and dialogue form cyclical narratives exploring the strangeness hidden within ordinary things.

By generating spaces that are visibly hand made, she builds a hybrid culture dislocated from the convincing virtual worlds we are immersed in daily. A timeless no-place with its own rhythm and logic, where reality and fiction become destabilized and intertwined. Palmer explores the variety of hidden neurological profiles that affect people’s sensitivity to the world. This can be in relation to different species and natural perspectives, but also the perspectives of hidden neurological difference, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar.

Palmer’s installations extend material environments around the films, exploring the potential of sculptural sets and surround sound to produce a heightened physical encounter with the work. The fractured narratives that unfold within these assemblages, explore the transformative potential of personal belief, often seeking resolution for difficult events – sorrow, loss, anxiety or trauma. Palmer wants to create spaces that are strange yet familiar; narratives that are sometimes funny, bewildering and beautiful but can also be disorienting, emotionally enigmatic, sad or frightening. Although visually dream-like her work is not intended as fantasy. Instead it offers a step sideways into parallel worlds that allow us to examine the complexity and absurdity of being human.

Palmer is currently Artist in Residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, where she has exhibited at the Open and prepared solo shows for 1646 in the Hague and Ty Pawb in Wales. She graduated from Royal Academy Schools in 2016, where she was awarded the Gold Medal. She recently received Arts Council England’s Creative Practice Development Fund and has exhibited widely at galleries and museums in London, Berlin, The Hague, Miami, Mexico, Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Rotterdam and Glasgow. Forthcoming exhibitions include the Rijksakademie Open 2021 and solo shows at Akinci, Amsterdam and Bosse and Baum, London.

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