June - September 2017: The Dark Self Exhibition at York St Mary's

York Festival of Ideas 2017Opening at York St Mary's (York Museums Trust) on Wednesday 7 June 2017, The Dark Self is a major new exhibition by artist Susan Aldworth that explores the experience of sleep. A highly original and experimental artist, known for her unorthodox printing techniques and philosophical investigations into the human brain and identity, Aldworth challenges us in this exhibition to reflect upon our nightly transitions from consciousness to oblivion.

The Dark Self features prints, installation, moving image and sculptures, all exploring the mystery of what happens to the ‘self’ during deep sleep. It includes 1001 embroidered pillowcases, sewn by people from across the UK, each representing ideas of sleep and dreams. The exhibition has been put together with curatorial assistance from University of York students from the History of Art Department and the Norman Rea Gallery. There is also a catalogue of the exhibition, written by Professor Michael White, Head of Department, History of Art.

Aldworth is currently the Wellcome Artist in Residence at the University of York. Working on location in a medical or scientific academic department is central to her practice. She was previously Artist in Residence at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University from 2009 to 2012 and has also curated a number of exhibitions, including Reassembling the Self in 2012.

The Dark Self is part of the Human Mind theme at this year's York Festival of Ideas.


The Dark Self 
7 June – 3 September, Wednesday–Sunday, 11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. Free entry.
At York St Mary’s, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
See the York St Mary's website for more details.

The Art of Sleep
21 June – 22 July, Monday 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m./Wednesday–Saturday 10.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Free entry.
At Lotte Inch Gallery, 10 Bootham, York, YO30 7BL
An exhibition of experimental monoprints produced by Susan Aldworth in preparation for The Dark Self.
See the Lotte Inch Gallery website for more details.

Talks and events:

Tuesday 6 June, 6.00 – 6.45 p.m.: Artist’s Talk: The Dark Self, a guided walk around the exhibition.
See the York Festival of Ideas website for further details and to book free tickets.

Saturday 17 June, 2.30 – 3.20 p.m. – Panel Discussion exploring the art and science of sleep.
Artist Susan Aldworth, Professor Miles Whittington (Chair in Neuroscience, University of York), Professor Michael White (History of Art, University of York).
See the York Festival of Ideas website for further details and to book free tickets.

Saturday 24 June, 2.30 – 4.30 p.m – Embroiderers’ Day.

[Update, 27 June 2017] View photographs from the exhibition opening on 6 June.

Image: Susan Aldworth, The Dark Self (detail), monoprint, 2017