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An installation view of the exhibition, showing the film on a screen in front of the red seating area. The gallery walls are mottled green.

Saoirse Amira Anis

symphony for a fraying body

Sat 20 May - Sun 6 August 2023

This exhibition marked the first major solo show by Dundee-based artist Saoirse Amira Anis. 

The artist works across sculpture, performance, photography, film, writing and drawing; proudly working in all these mediums without finesse but with a lot of love. Anis's practice prioritises radical care, informality, and empathy. Her work is informed by Black queer literature, her personal ancestry, and her own body as it moves through the world. She incorporates bodily knowledge and care into each facet of her work, considering the ways in which the body holds ancestral and lived memories. 

Saoirse Amira Anis artist video

A newly commissioned film gave her exhibition at DCA its title, symphony for a fraying body. The moving image sat within a sculptural frame, surrounded by walls awash with colour, alongside what the artist refers to as 'detritus': the by-products from the film's creation. These remains give a sense of the film creeping out from the screen into the gallery, blurring the lines between the screen, materials and surroundings. The gallery was crafted as a space of comfort for audiences: to rest, breathe, watch. It was the artist's intention that visitors would be encouraged to slow down and consider what if feels like to be in body in this moment in time: not alone but as a part of a community linked by shared worry, shared rage, and shared love. 


This exhibition was part of Art Night 2023, during which the artist gave a one-off performance across Dundee city centre, starting at DCA. 

A gallery with green walls. A video screen in the corner showing a figure in red in a cave. A red seating area in front of the screen.

About the artist

Saoirse Amira Anis grew up in the countryside near Lanark and is now based in Dundee. Her work has been exhibited recently in the form of a solo show at Campleline, Dumfries, and as part of the Platform commissions for the 2022 Edinburgh Art Festival. Other recent projects include: Jupiter Rising, Jupiter Artland, 2021; A Lesson in Vanity, David Dale Gallery and Lux Scotland, July 2021; and We Can Still Dance, Jupiter Artland, as part of the Black Lives Matter Mural Trail.

She recently curated Miss(ing) Information at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, an exhibition that features the work of Tayo Adekunle, Nkem Okwechime, Tako Taal and Natasha Ruwona. Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Anis has completed residencies at Cove Park, Argyll and Bute, Hospitalfield in Arbroath, and Collemacchia, with the Museum of Loss and Renewal. She was also a committee member at GENERATORprojects from 2018-2021. 

Exhibition Notes

Saoirse Amira Anis: Exhibition Notes

Click to download Exhibition Notes for Saoirse Amira Anis: Symphony for a Fraying Body
223 KB (PDF)

Audio Exhibition Notes

 Listen to an audio version of the Exhibition Notes for Saoirse Amira Anis: Symphony for a Fraying Body here.

Exhibition images

A gallery with green walls. In the corner is a video screen, with a red seating area in front of it. The word 'Slither' appears on the wall.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
A gallery with green mottled walls. The words 'swim' and 'fly' appear on the wall, made from red fabric.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
A gallery with green mottled walls. Various objects, made from red fabric, appear on the floor and walls.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
A grey gallery floor, with an artwork made of red and blue fabric lying on it.
Photograph by Ruth Clark

Gallery Walkthrough | Saoirse Amira Anis: symphony for a fraying body