Amanda has produced a continuous series of self-initiated projects, nationally selected exhibitions and commissioned installations, working with several museums galleries and organisations throughout the UK in recent years. ‘In my ladies’ chamber: revisited’ is a culmination of her work to date and brings together work from a selection of projects, predominantly ‘In my Ladies Chamber’ at the Liverpool Museum and her most recent exhibition ‘Found Object Ensemble’ at Ullet Road Unitarian Church, Liverpool.
In her work Ralph assembles found objects that can be integrated to play a role in site-specific installations, drawing upon anthropological, architectural and theatrical set traditions. Previously described as ‘a poet of the discarded’, Ralph deploys her collection of treasures found in gutters, scrap yards, skips junk shops and car boot sales to maximize the pathos and odd beauty of her castaway objects, juxtaposing like and unlike to reinforce their poignancy.
‘In my Ladies Chamber’ was a site-specific installation of found objects housed in old-fashioned museum cases exhibited adjacent to the museum’s Africa collection which played wonderfully off its surroundings and for which Ralph was awarded Merseyside Arts and Entertainment Award ‘ Best New Visual Arts Talent’ 1995. In ‘ In my ladies chamber: revisited’, Ralph re-uses these cases, the sort that might once of contained beetles, butterflies or Roman coins, together with domestic furniture to house her artefacts, conferring on these rusty bits and pieces a strange sort of status and pleasing ambiguity.
The installation ‘Found Object ensemble’ was created as the context for an alternative wedding and was the source for Ralph’s recently launched business venture ’CONTEXT’. Through this, Ralph aims to create work which can be personalised into many different products and services for weddings, christenings, anniversaries and other special occasions. Found art trophies are available to buy, hire or be commissioned together with a specialised wedding service for which she can create site-specific installations and sculptures incorporating found objects with flowers and foliage.
Amanda Ralph lives and works in Liverpool. She was recently profiled on ‘Where the art is’ on Granada Television as the first in a series featuring five other regional artists. Her proposed future projects include installations in the period rooms of Turton Tower in Bolton and Astley Hall in Chorley and installation based showcases in vacant shop units using the social history collections of Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and The Pumphouse in Manchester. Her work will be featured in the Liverpool Biennial in September 1999, where she will show life size ‘effigy’ figures in an abandoned warehouse in the Ropewalks area of Liverpool.