Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan: Oh we will, we will, will we

Oh we will, we will, will we by Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan was two-part commission, comprising a large-scale sculptural installation and a body of associated research activity, which was launched at a public event during the show.


For Tatham & O’Sullivan, each exhibition is a scenario in which to re-configure the boundaries of their collaborative practice as well as the parameters of art. Their project HK used the slogan “Heroin Kills” and re-presented it both as six-metre high black letters and as an 18 carat gold necklace. The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks has been a play performed occasionally by an amateur dramatic troupe and also a short novella. Working within the traditions of conceptual art, Tatham & O’Sullivan’s work creates and temporarily inhabits specific narrative or thematic spaces. Through the use and re-use of diverse forms and approaches their works create situations far beyond the sum of their parts; an intangible spectacle where clear meaning is not on offer and the viewer is made to feel complicit.

Oh we will, we will, will we was an opportunity for the artists to frame and re-present their characteristic signs and symbols by using and re-combining elements of past pieces, re-appropriating their own work, creating another system of meaning or thinking about meaning. To supplement this work, taking place sideways of the main exhibition, Tatham & O’Sullivan also undertook a series of research activities in collaboration with Fiona Jardine. Although open-ended and without a determined outcome, the focus was on expanding the mythic potential of the signs that their work had previously explored.

Supported by Arts Council England, London and The Henry Moore Foundation. With kind assistance from Lambeth Arts and Furnival Press.

About Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan

Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan are based in Glasgow. Their most recent solo exhibitions and projects are The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks, Frieze Art Fair Commission, London, 2004; Think Thingamajig and Other Things, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland, 2003 and This has reached the limit conditions of its own rhetoric, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, 2003. Group exhibitions include Zenomap, Venice Biennale, 2003 and My head is on fire, but my heart is full of love, Charlottenburg Museum, Copenhagen, 2002. Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan are represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow and Sutton Lane, London.

Image credit(s)

Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Oh we will, we will, will we will, 2004. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artists and Studio Voltaire, London.