Never Give Up is a site-responsive text work, spelled out across the windows of public buildings [arts organisations]. This positive yet defiant message engages passers-by, welcomes visitors and projects a rallying cry to all who face adversity in difficult times.

Never Give Up reflects our interest in determination, hopefulness and reassurance. The mantra (drawn from advice found in The Book of Survival) is a message to ourselves as much a gift to others. It also acts to temporarily turn the building into a beacon, signalling to those outside that it is a safe place and supportive environment in which to gather.

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LOYAL is a specially commissioned loyalty card scheme developed for Hunt & Darton Cafe that encourages customers to return to the cafe and make repeat purchases. Customers who collect five stamps on return visits are purposefully and specially presented, with a bespoke, limited edition LOYAL badge.

The portable artwork (stamped card and resulting badge), allows participants to publically display their support and allegiance to the cafe, whilst also forming a community of people joined together through their act of loyalty. LOYAL demonstrates our interest in rewarding perseverance and commitment - creating intimate celebratory moments, prompts for conversation and a sense of pride, group identity and solidarity - while questioning and reclaiming the language appropriated by corporate loyalty card schemes.

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Survival Shelf is an eclectic and ever expanding library of pre-owned books that somehow incorporate the word ‘survive’ in their titles. Complied through hours of scouring charity shops and ebay, the books range from classic guides on surviving disasters, to advice on heartbreak, DIY, school exams and mental health.

The obscure collection speaks to our desire to ‘be prepared’ for all eventualities and places perceptions of emergency (personal and global) onto a shifting scale. Survival Shelf questions notions of expertise, redundancy and usefulness, alongside the contemporary value of ‘fixing’ knowledge within a book format.

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1st is an unannounced performance action that honours the most punctual member of an event’s audience. The first audience member to enter the building for the event (who fulfils the stated terms & conditions) is awarded a rosette and photographed by official adjudicators.

1st celebrates and magnifies a simple act of individual effort (punctuality) and the willingness to take part in, and be part of, something. Creating a focus on this particular (otherwise overlooked) moment allows us to recognise and reward small-scale daily achievements.

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Impromptu is a layered sound work made up of commissioned recordings of renowned Freddie Mercury tribute act Gary Mullen (winner of Stars In Their Eyes, 2000) performing a score inspired by the late Queen frontman’s extensive vocal improvisation games of audience ‘call-and-response.

Impromptu explores the potential of simple but evocative collective experiences and actions. It creates a space for imagining the united efforts of a huge crowd attempting to ‘sing back’ and draws on the cultural memory of the mass watching of Gary and Freddie’s performances.

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Book of Survival is a 12 hour durational performance where LOW PROFILE read, try to learn from and test each other on the survival advice offered by the 1960s publication, The Book of Survival* by Anthony Greenbank. Once read, the book offers the promise to leave its readers mentally equipped ‘to survive’.

Book of Survival (like Survival Shelf which it later inspired) speaks to our desire to ‘be prepared’ for all eventualities. We take the book’s extraordinary promise of being able to achieve absolute survival and pull it apart - questioning the idea of fixing contracts of knowledge within a book format, the impossibility of being able to be imagine all possible emergency circumstances and drawing attention to the issue of singular authored advice or knowledge.

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FEATURED PROJECT: Picture In The Paper FEATURED PROJECT: Picture In The Paper

Picture In The Paper is a large-scale participatory project and resulting photographic archive, placed on permanent display. During the summer of 2014, LOW PROFILE staged a campaign to uncover the many different types of groups in Bath, from those joined together through shared hobbies, professions, interests and need. Over 70 suggestions came from the public, celebrating the passions of the people of Bath.

Picture in the Paper pays tribute to DIY activity and team and individual effort in making things happen. The project investigates ideas of group identify, temporary allegiances, participation and community.

It demonstrates and recognises the often hidden and under-celebrated activity of a city and seeks to expand the potential relationships within a place, by bringing people together, creating special celebratory moments and building an expanded sense of group identity.

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FEATURED PROJECT: Daily Performance Huddle FEATURED PROJECT: Daily Performance Huddle

Daily Performance Huddle is a performative workplace intervention sited in a gallery space. Using a found and adapted sign (used originally by businesses to improve performance) and relocated within an arts institution, DPH invites staff to take on the format of the ‘standard’ business huddle (e.g limit huddles to 7 minutes or less, stand rather than sit, experiment with different times of day etc) but with the newly created topics for discussion.

DPH focuses on identifying and celebrating small actions, which could otherwise be overlooked within a normal work environment. It recognises the importance of an individual’s contribution to a greater whole, of building community within daily life and of the value of paying attention to the people in your immediate locale.

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3 Short Essays is a 10-minute performance that responds to John McClane (from the ‘Die Hard’ films), Indiana Jones and MacGyver - the Top 3 fictional characters Americans stated (in a 2007 survey) that they would most want by their side in a situation of emergency.

3 Short Essays draws on our repeated questioning of notions of expertise, redundancy and usefulness, by taking the results of an inconsequential survey at face value and considering the results as legitimate survival advice.

By focussing on overlooked aspects of the characters, their imperfections and personal details, we draw attention to the faultiness of heros and celebrate the best attempts and efforts of those positioned as ‘having all the answers’, or as being able to ‘save the day’.

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LOW PROFILE’s concerns are commonplace – centered on people, relationships, communication and an examination of the role of community, individuals and the collective. The work facilitates audiences to briefly step outside of, and reconsider, their daily lives, through the creation of shared, focussed and intimate moments, collective action and individual and group experience. By using seemingly simple gestures and tackling weighty subjects with humour and a light touch, we invite our audience to get caught up in the work

Our work explores themes of everyday survival, through a misguided and idiosyncratic attempt to navigate the excesses, challenges and ‘small-scale’ trials of daily life. We actively celebrate ‘best attempts’, endeavour and effort, with a wilful determination to never give up. We deal with the nuances of cooperation, coordination, shared effort and participation that reposition the individual to be part of something bigger, alongside (and with) others.

Our work often references recognisable tropes and makes use of existing texts from popular culture, with a desire to reclaim and reconsider that which may otherwise be considered outmoded or overlooked.

At its heart, our practice is performative, quietly political and interested in the potential of paying attention as a transformative action.

LOW PROFILE is a collaboration between artists Rachel Dobbs (IRL) and Hannah Jones (UK). They have been working in collaboration since 2003 and are based in Plymouth (UK).

LOW PROFILE’s practice spans a variety of performative interfaces with different audiences including small-scale live moments, gallery exhibitions, books, videos, durational task-led performances, sculpture, text works, sound works and large-scale participatory projects. Our work is informed by (and often make in response to) specific contexts and situations.


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