Joshua Bilton works makes socially engaged and public participatory work in a variety of media including photography and video. His practice is concerned with loss and mutability and uses the format of the workshop as a method of research and collaboration.
Recent work, 67 laments, explores ways of relating to the human and nonhuman through touch. The works are concerned with absence in their effort to find ways of remembering, reliving, sustaining and returning to a point of touch and empathy with our body and in turn the bodies of others. They portray acts of holding on, prolonging, casting and looping as photographic and filmic methods of reflecting on beginnings and endings.
"During the last year I’ve been interested in how birds have been used to process loss, crisis and grief in their nature as both creatures of the earth and the sky. In poetry, literature and mythology they are often seen as spiritual animals directly connected to the threshold state between living, dying, beginning and ending"
Joshua has an MA in Photography from The Royal Collage of Art and is currently a lead artist at Kettle’s Yard. He also works with a number of art organisations including Tate Exchange, ACAVA, Flourishing Lives, The Canal & River Trust and Pic London.
He is currently lead tutor in photography at the Royal Drawing School and a visiting tutor at the London College of Communication. His work has been shown in the UK, as well as Europe and USA.
Workshops & commissioned sound performance, Wellcome Collection, London (2019)
Open House Cambridge - Radio broadcast & exhibition, curated by Hannah Kemp-Welch, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. (2019)
Light Years, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London (2019)
Offering, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London (2019)
Unseen Photo Fair, Thread count curated by Der Greif, Amsterdam (2018)
Undersong (solo), SPACE, Mare street, London (2016)
Hello World, L’Atelier-KSR, Berlin Germany. (2014)
Venez Fruits Presses, Paris, France (2014)
Rosphoto, Saint Petersburg, Russia (2013)
CAFF, Sluice Art fair, London (2013)
Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012)
67 Laments, 2020
Birdsong Lament, 2020
My Father's Body, 2020
Time At Hogchester Arts
Residency period - January 2020
It’s a truly unique space that helped me find the headspace to collect, experiment, perform and make a new video piece. During the ten days I found a rhythm, a spongy feeling where I was super awake to everything new around me.
I woke up, ate breakfast and walked across the path from the cottage where I was staying to the large open barn studio and began working. In the first five days I was lucky enough to work with Brendan Sheils the resident bird ringer and follow him around with a 16mm camera filming close-up shots of the handling process. I was interested in the symbiotic relationship between the human hand and other species and how this has fallen dramatically out of sync due to habitat loss and the environmental crisis we are now facing.
I spent the remaining five days walking along the Jurassic coast and collecting stones that slot perfectly into the palm of my hand, getting caught at high tide, almost getting washed off a peer by a massive wave, becoming a hybrid creature part me part bird, writing, hanging out in the Yurt with Dean, the other resident artist and Chantal, stroking a pig, and learning about conservation and rewilding at Hogchester.