Hannah Perry: Manual Labour

22 Jun 2024-14 Jan 2025

Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art
Gateshead NE8 3BA


Hannah Perry presents a major body of new work for our Level 4 gallery that considers labour, motherhood and class.

Hannah Perry works across installation, sculpture, film and printmaking. Perry continuously generates and manipulates materials to develop an often candid, and personal exploration of mental and emotional health in our contemporary, hyper-networked society.

This exhibition will consider the intersection of industry, class, gender and labour. The psychologically-charged installation will use materials, from sheet metal to car lacquer, body wrap and hydraulics, that are often associated with manual occupations in manufacturing and industry. Drawing on the artist’s personal history growing up in a working-class family in the north of England, the new commission explores shifting cultural and social values, shaped by the economic forces of capitalism and their effects on mental and emotional health. 

Capturing the nuances of inter-generational and gendered ideas of labour, in a context of struggle, economic instability, uncertainty and precariousness, the artwork reflects on the artist’s own personal experience –steel, hydraulics, and shock absorbers, are choreographed to resemble a pelvis during labour. The work captures the force, violence, struggle, shock and trauma of the transition and its brutal, constrained power.