4/07/2015 — 22/08/2015

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device 

copyright Jennet Thomas 2015

copyright Jennet Thomas 2015

For summer 2015, the Grundy Art Gallery presents a new commission: THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE, an experimental narrative film and multimedia sculptural installation by artist Jennet Thomas.

The film presents a kind of absurd fairy-tale, in which a strange mythical tribe surrounding the ‘Blue Lady’, based on a memory of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, holds sway. The tribe takes a fictional pilgrimage through a future-primitive world, where the difference between magic and technology is now forgotten.

THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE establishes a fictional world with bizarre costumes and characters, creating a “Victorian Sci-Fi” aesthetic from Blackpool’s Winter Gardens - the final destination of the pilgrimage and the site of many of Thatcher’s most famous speeches at Party Conferences.

Jennet Thomas is an artist who makes films, performance and installations which explore questions of fantasy in everyday life, language and belief systems, and how cultural memories are re-made, re-told and mythologised. Her work emerged from the experimental culture of London’s underground film and live art club scene in the 1990s, where she was a co-founder of the ‘Exploding Cinema Collective’. Her films have been screened extensively at international film festivals, particularly in the US and Europe and more recently in galleries in the UK. Recent solo exhibitions include at Matt’s Gallery, London 2012 and 2010, OUTPOST, Norwich, 2010 and PEER, London in 2007. Jennet Thomas is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London.

Preview: Friday 3 July, 6-8pm 

There is also a symposium exploring the themes and questions posed in the exhibition on Saturday 4 July. Click here for details.


The main film is around 40 minutes long, and screened continuously in the sculptural installation inside the gallery. You can enter the exhibition at any time, which has a number of different rooms and installations, but we recommend watching the main film from the beginning, as it is a narrative. The film begins every 40 minutes at the following times daily:

10.00, 10.40, 11.20, 12.00, 12.40, 13.20, 14.00, 14.40, 15.20, 16.00

Admission FREE