‘Towards Memorial’ – Artist talk and Q&A with Yuen Fong Ling – Thursday 18 February 2021

Towards Memorial (2019), Yuen Fong Ling, film still by Picture Story Productions. Courtesy of the artist.

Towards Memorial – Artist talk and Q&A
Thursday 18 February 2021, 5PM – 6.30PM
Hosted online by the Department of Art & Design at Sheffield Hallam University
Free to all – make sure to register on Eventbrite here

In recognition of LGBT+ History Month 2021, local artist and researcher Yuen Fong Ling will talk about their recent project, inspired by Edward Carpenter.

In a period of political and social uncertainty, how can what you wear help to express your beliefs and what you stand for? Towards Memorial is an art project that explores this question by remaking a pair of sandals designed and made by the socialist writer, poet and gay rights and prison reform activist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929).

Towards Memorial (2019), Yuen Fong Ling, film still by Picture Story Productions. Courtesy of the artist.

Towards Memorial (2019), Yuen Fong Ling, film still by Picture Story Productions. Courtesy of the artist.

During his lifetime, Carpenter sought to improve the living and working conditions of the working class. This included greater awareness of, and openness to, our physical and spiritual relationship with others and the natural environment. Carpenter also supported equal rights for women and championed new ways of defining homosexual / queer relationships and identities at a time when homosexuality was illegal, whilst living openly with his life-long partner George Merrill in Millthorpe, Sheffield.

The talk will feature the screening of Towards Memorial (2019), a film in three chapters documenting the making, gifting and wearing of the Carpenter sandals, made in collaboration with Picture Story Productions. During the talk, aspects of Towards Memorial and Self 1892 (a graphic brand and visual concept developed on the remnants of the sandal’s prototype paper paters) will be drawn together, including Edward Carpenter’s archival sources, sandal production with Noble & Wylie, The Friends of Edward Carpenter, filmmaking with Picture Story Productions and concept design and branding with Jon Cannon and Mark Howe.

The talk will conclude with a Q&A session with Yuen.

This event is free to attend and open to all, donations are welcome, all donations received will go to The Friends of Edward Carpenter.



Yuen Fong Ling

Yuen Fong Ling is an artist, researcher, and lecturer based in Sheffield. Completing a PhD at University of Lincoln in 2016, entitled A Body of Relations: Reconfiguring the Life Class, and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Sheffield Institute of Art, Ling is the recipient of the Freelands Artists Programme award 2018–20 hosted by Site Gallery. Yuen’s practice explores issues of intersectional identities, historical omission, non-permanent forms of public memorial and socially engaged art practice, as the artist, model and curator.

For the past couple of years, Yuen has been working with the collection of writer, poet, activist and socialist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), to uncover hidden histories and to present the work of the pioneering writer and cultural figure that spent a formative period of his life in the steel city. See more on Yuen’s website and follow on Instagram @yuenfongling.