New Film By Saoirse Amira Anis To Be Shown In An Exhibition Announced For CAMPLE LINE This Summer

CAMPLE LINE is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Dundee based artist Saoirse Amira Anis, entitled For no other reason than joy, which will open on 9 July.

Saoirse Amira Anis’s practice spans moving image, installation, sculpture and performance, and is underpinned by interests in materials, memories and movement, and the value of empathy and care. Her work explores personal therapeutic processes, and how these relate to the ways we share our vulnerabilities with each other, and it is informed by radical community-based approaches to governance and care that run through queer Black feminist thought. Increasingly, Saoirse is also drawing upon her Scottish-Moroccan heritage, which includes ancestry from Mali and Mauritania.

In previous work published in MAP Magazine (An Ode to Fire and Fear, 2018- 2020) and for the Black Lives Matter Mural Trail with Edinburgh Art Festival (We can still dance, 2020, Jupiter Artland), she has explored dance, heritage and nature, and has said ‘I’ve spent years adjusting myself to conform to and assimilate with the predominantly white culture I’ve grown up in outside of my home, and in doing so I have stifled huge parts of myself, but I’m breaking out of that now. In a way, it’s as though the freedom of uninhibited dancing is teaching me to embrace the freedom of uninhibited being.’


For no other reason than joy will occupy the whole of CAMPLE LINE’s upstairs space. It is the first occasion that Saoirse will give physical form to Freedomia, Freedom Princess’s world. She sees it as a world unburdened of the weight of human history, free of violence, guilt or shame: ’It has no links to capitalism or state-fuelled inequality; no bloody history of slavery or terror.’ Instead, it is a place that combines the celestial and the informal, levity and immanence: ‘Freedom Princess doesn’t come from anywhere you’d be able to identify on a map, so don’t ask…’

In developing the exhibition, Saoirse has drawn upon a wide range of sources: ‘…the sun, the earth, the sky and the sea; imagery that comes to me in dreams; personal and global mythologies; personal explorations of queerness; alchemy; Catholicism; monarchy; luxury and who has access to it; disability, recovery and systems of support.’ 

Saoirse shot her newly commissioned film work, A Lesson in Frivolity, partly in locations in Nithsdale in Dumfriesshire, and partly in Collecchia, in Molise, Italy, whilst she was attending the residency programme established there by the Museum of Loss and Renewal.

Saoirse will install A Lesson in Frivolity alongside a number of sculptural and textile elements that combine natural, earthy materials with gaudy, extravagant materials that might be considered by some to be ‘tacky’: ‘I hope the space will feel a little like the visitors are entering into another world – a small insight into Freedomia. Though the inspiration behind the work is extremely personal and fraught with tension, I hope that the end result is joyous, vibrant and a little magical.


Over 2020-21, Saoirse was selected to take part in Cove Park’s Crisis Residency Programme, which offered a series of residencies designed to support early career visual artists based in Scotland. Whilst there, Saoirse has said she began to elaborate an alter ego called Freedom Princess, initially as a source of ‘internal conflict resolution’, exploring elements of costume and movement in the natural landscape. She has said:  ‘Her name derives from my own – Saoirse Amira translates from Gaelic and Arabic to Freedom Princess. This alter ego is a way for me to explore the world through the eyes of a person who is not shackled by any earthly requirements or confusions.’

Beyond Cove, Saoirse has continued to build an origin story for Freedom Princess: ‘As Freedom Princess, I can dictate and become part of my own world with its own culture.’ Saoirse included footage shot at Cove as well as at Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh in a short film, A Lesson In Vanity, shown online in summer 2021 by David Dale Gallery in partnership with Lux Scotland. Then as a Jupiter Rising resident at Jupiter Artland, Saoirse was able to further develop Freedom Princess’s persona through a number of short performances, including a drop-in knighting ceremony. She also recently undertook a performance as Freedom Princess at ALIVE! at GENERATOR projects.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a new text by Jamie Donald.

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