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13 May 2014 • by Gate Staff

Spotlight on Gate Curate: Ed Cotterill

Ed Cotterill was commissioned to create a foyer exhibit for our production of Grounded as part of our Gate Curate series.  Here he describes his response to the play and to the photographs depicted within it:

My reading of Grounded was that although the play is steeped in the contemplation of drone warfare it is essentially a personal look into an individual struggling to adapt to the changes that are happening to her, which she seemingly has no control over. I wished to reference the performance without illustrating it or clumsily mimicking it. The works all adhere to the same size square.  The sum of the length of the four sides of the square equals the height of Lucy Ellinson, the only physical presence in the production.  

1.2 Seconds or A Portrait Taken by the Artist Ryan Gander By The Artist Edward Cotterill is a self portrait, realised by Ryan Gander in response to the instruction to create a self portrait of me.  He had carte blanche to do as he pleased: the only specification was that the shutter speed of the photograph was 1.2 seconds (the time it takes between sending an instruction on a drone console and the drone aircraft, anywhere in the world, responding). I wished to relinquish control (responsibility) for the work but still have ultimate responsibility for it.  It is mine, it is not mine. 

Shut(ter) is a steel window shutter used by security firms to secure derelict buildings, to ensure no one gets in or out.  I was struck by the brutal nature of these building decorations: there is something final about them. They are painted blue in order to make them more palatable, closer to nature, closer to the sky, to freedom.  

Untitled Wall Painting is a series of paintings stencilled directly onto the wall.  The square is defined by the paint around it: the object (the square) becomes the void.  This is repeated and the void becomes indistinguishable.


GATE CURATE is a new and unique collaboration between the Gate Theatre, CHELSEA space and Chelsea Arts Club Trust. Every Gate show will feature an installation in our foyer by an emerging visual artist that responds to the play.
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My reading of Grounded was that although the play is steeped in the contemplation of drone warfare it is essentially a personal look into an individual struggling to adapt to the changes that are happening to her, which she seemingly has no control over. I wished to reference the performance without illustrating it or clumsily mimicking it. The works all adhere to the same size square.  The sum of the length of the four sides of the square equals the height of Lucy Ellinson, the only physical presence in the production.  

1.2 Seconds or A Portrait Taken by the Artist Ryan Gander By The Artist Edward Cotterill is a self portrait, realised by Ryan Gander in response to the instruction to create a self portrait of me.  He had carte blanche to do as he pleased: the only specification was that the shutter speed of the photograph was 1.2 seconds (the time it takes between sending an instruction on a drone console and the drone aircraft, anywhere in the world, responding). I wished to relinquish control (responsibility) for the work but still have ultimate responsibility for it.  It is mine, it is not mine. 

Shut(ter) is a steel window shutter used by security firms to secure derelict buildings, to ensure no one gets in or out.  I was struck by the brutal nature of these building decorations: there is something final about them. They are painted blue in order to make them more palatable, closer to nature, closer to the sky, to freedom.  

Untitled Wall Painting is a series of paintings stencilled directly onto the wall.  The square is defined by the paint around it: the object (the square) becomes the void.  This is repeated and the void becomes indistinguishable.


GATE CURATE is a new and unique collaboration between the Gate Theatre, CHELSEA space and Chelsea Arts Club Trust. Every Gate show will feature an installation in our foyer by an emerging visual artist that responds to the play. [parsed] => [keywords] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [keyword] => backstage access ) ) [author_id] => 2 [created_on] => 1399978380 [updated_on] => 1399978380 [comments_enabled] => 3 months [status] => live [type] => wysiwyg-advanced [preview_hash] => [author] => by Gate Staff [created_by] => Array ( [user_id] => 2 [email] => ruth@gatetheatre.co.uk [username] => thegate ) [last] => 1 [odd_even] => odd [count] => 1 [category] => Array ( [id] => 12 [slug] => Backstage-Access [title] => Backstage Access ) [keywords_arr] => Array ( [0] => backstage access ) [url] => https://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/blog/2014/05/spotlight-on-gate-curate-ed-cotterill [preview] => One of our Artists-in-Residence, Ed Cotterill, responds to Grounded. ) )