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After the Fall

Exhibition, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, 2019


Awarded 2019 Cambridge Artworks Residency

A multi-layered inter-disciplinary body of work combining photographic processes, writing, three-dimensional artefacts, performance, printmaking, artist’s book and video. After the Fall responds to the aftermath of two unconnected cycling accidents, including my own, both involving head injuries. The work explores ideas around mortality, memory loss, identity, loss, recovery and remembrance.



After the Fall was developed as a response to a text I wrote previously describing the scene of a woman cyclist involved in an accident, lying unconscious on a London street. The final sentence is an instruction I did not act upon – ‘I must remember to buy a bicyle helmet’ – two years later suffering a severe head injury myself.

Learning the text, China Doll White, by heart, lead to exploring the dynamics of performance, reciting the words with my eyes closed, lying  on the floor, adopting the body position of the cyclist described. During the exhibition, I performed twice a day, adding my physical presence to the exhibition, temporarily changing the show’s dynamics.

A photograph of a monument to 19th century Dutch painter Therese Schwartze, made by her sister, sculptor Georgine Schwartze, became a memorial to the unknown London cyclist, the sculpture echoing her body position.

Other works respond to the site of the accident, address memory loss, recovery and the kindness and care of strangers, each piece presented in its own unique form. Broken, knotted rubber bands expose physical signs of damage and repair, while also creating cohesion between artifacts in the exhibition, with individual artefacts reaching out to other works and to spaces and people beyond its boundaries, looking for new beginnings and connections. 

The Ruskin Gallery exhibition (MA Fine Art 2019, Cambridge School of Art) was awarded the 2019 Cambridge Artworks Residency.


After the Fall, mixed media. various dimensions

China Doll White (In rehearsal, 30 July 2019), high definition video, colour, sound, 3:33 min, 2019


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Roelof Bakker, all rights reserved, 2021