Exchange | Susan Stockwell, Rhiannon Armstrong & Monica Bonomo

Exchange | Susan Stockwell, Rhiannon Armstrong & Monica Bonomo

5 Jul - 22 Sep

Artists Rhiannon Armstrong, Monica Bonomo and Susan Stockwell have been commissioned to undertake Aspex’s summer programme, Exchange.

From July - September the three artists will complete a series of residencies, generating new work in response to the theme of exchange and its potential meanings. These residencies run alongside an exhibition of the artists’ work, exploring the exchange of skills, knowledge and experiences; ownership and the trading of items, as well as currency and value.


Rhiannon Armstrong’s work, The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid is a collection of anonymous testimonies donated by members of the public. The Archive exists online at and is presented alongside a quilt embroidered with extracts from the testimonies. Gallery visitors are invited to borrow a device from the Info Desk, take a seat next to the quilt and listen to a testimony before contributing their own. Armstrong’s residency will take place in Portsmouth’s libraries, where she will invite library users to write poetry around discarded shreds of printed text. These Poems Made From Words Found In The Bin will be animated for digital screens across the city and added to Portsmouth library’s special collections.

Monica Bonomo’s work centres around our ever-changing relationship with nature and earth’s resources. For this installation Bonomo has reconfigured an earlier work, Hydro-Logics which combines found materials, hand-dyed fabrics and powerful spices such as turmeric and cinnamon. Following on from a three month residency at Sanctuary Slimane in Morocco, Bonomo will share and exchange knowledge about the active properties of plants in a series of botanical workshops at Aspex and offsite at the Tennis Pavilion at Canoe Lake and Victorious Festival.

Susan Stockwell presents a new installation, Rumpelstiltskin, which references the well-known fairytale and comments on the international trade of clothing and textiles. Sewing machines in a range of sizes navigate an overwhelming sea of fabric and provoke us to think about the global impact of the fashion industry on people and the environment. Whilst in residence Stockwell will take portable sewing machines to locations across Portsmouth to share sewing and mending skills. She will also invite workshop participants to make her renowned ‘money boats’, previously shown in a large scale installation in the Tate Turbine Hall, for an expansive intervention in surprise locations around the city. Stockwell also presents Finesilver-Blackgold, a ledger card found in a disused garment factory in San Antonio, Texas, printed with a shocking image of humans shackled together in a slave ship to be bought and sold, traded as goods. This is the fourth incarnation of the summer programme, established with the gallery in 2016, now engaging over 40,000 members of the public. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #ExchangePortsmouth on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

About Exchange

For our 2019 summer programme Aspex has commissioned three artists to create new artwork in response to the theme of ‘Exchange’ and all of its potential meanings.

From July - September 2019 we invite you to explore the exchange of skills, knowledge and experiences; ownership and the trading of items, as well as currency and value.

Take part in one of our many exhibitions, creative workshops and events - working alongside our commissioned artists: Rhiannon Armstrong, Monica Bonomo and Susan Stockwell.

These activities will inform the development of the commissioned artworks, created through a series of artist residencies at the gallery. 

Events and activities are being held at the gallery in Gunwharf Quays, as well as locations throughout the city, including Victorious Festival on Southsea Common.

CLICK HERE to view our full programme. You can also join the conversation by using the hashtag #ExchangePortsmouth on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Exchange is generously supported by Canoe Lake Leisure, Gunwharf Quays, The Faculty of Creative & Cultural Industries at The University of Portsmouth, The Partnership Foundation and Victorious Festival. This project has been developed in association with the INTERREG EU funded project PONToon which centres community development, social/economic inclusion and equality.