8th June 2018

Revised Artist Statement

 

“Loneliness is safety. Fear is disappointment.  Everything, everyone has the capacity to let you down.

 

Is it important that every language, every word is understood? Is it possible to feel connected, feel moved or empathise with things we don’t completely understand?  Does every word/artistic gesture have to be grammatically correct in order to be validated or legitimate?

 

These creatures exist in a state of material conflict: jolie-laide, ugly-beautiful, cute-gross, honest-ambiguous, yet each one is exactly as it is meant to be.  Their world is a haven from the rationality and expectations of others. They accept their imperfections privately, yet they are shy and feel highly vulnerable to the expectations of others. In loneliness they feel their safest.

 

If they rely on being accepted by others they must change, adjust, edit themselves… or face the inevitable disappointment of not being good enough.

 

They are me.”

 

About me:

 

I work in ceramics but often using conflicting or disassociated materials and process, while expressing emotive narratives of loneliness and self-preservation, alienation and judgement. I enjoy being cheeky and defying conventions through my work, such as using car paint to colour my ceramics, rather than traditional glazes, or presenting my work on sugar, for example. My work is associated with jolie-laide, as well as pop art and design art, yet tries to make a statement about the apparent insistence of being absolutely understood or validated by others.

 

1st February 2018

Proposal Rewrite

 

Working title:

An investigation into where the worlds of judgement, guilt, disgust, nurture and the maternal*** overlap, and manifest as sculpture.**

 

*As yet, I am unsatisfied with the choice of descriptors in the working title, and I am searching for terminology that is more encompassing, such as:

  • Jolie-laide/Belle-laide (pretty-ugly/beautiful-ugly) (although a better term would be one that doesn’t specify human attractiveness, but more a feeling, sentiment or emotion rather than an aesthetic)
  • Wabi-Sabi, although it has connotations with Japanese craft specifically
  • Cute/gross
  • Charming/disgust
  • Sentiment over rationality
  • Want to be picked up, despite flaws or failings
  • Inclusive, everything valid, yet defying genre or order

 

**I am also unsure of the use of the term ‘craft objects’, but I am reluctant to pigeonhole the investigation to ceramics only.

 

My investigation is as much a reflection of my own creative practice, the struggles to associate myself, feel accepted and validated within the world (and professions) of visual culture. The feelings of self-doubt, insecurity and feeling vulnerable to questions of appropriateness and validity of my work and mindset, or lack of validated ‘welcome’ or ‘place’ for me and my work within the industry.

 

In terms of display, it is appropriate that the work is presented as a microcosm, collection or installation of everything – a world of things which exist together.  This could be simply arranged in a room, depending on the allocation for the end of year show, or could have a specific structure built for the objects to be displayed in/on.  For example a shelving system, a kunstkammer, a doll’s house, a playroom, a studio, a workshop, a bedroom, a shop window… Each of these has particular connotations attached, and therefore these need to be investigated in order to analyse their appropriateness.

 

In order to extend and explain the philosophies and theories associated with my practice and the investigation, there are opportunities for the exhibition of my work to be accompanied by the delivery of workshops or other forms of audience participation.  Currently, the notion of the public all making their own sculpture to be curated and exhibited together using a small selection processes which I use, seems like an appropriate way to do this (clay hand-building, scrap wood modelling, cardboard maquette-making, etc.).

 

 

23rd November 2016

After speaking to one of my colleagues about my mini-tactiforms, two of the textures I had applied – the dimples and holes – reminded them of the Suriname Toad.  She showed me a video and we both recoiled in horror and disgust!

I’m not sure why I didn’t realise this before when making the textures, but it has now completely changed my perception of what I have created, from something of intrigue, to something of anxiety.  Upon further research, the recoil I experienced is linked to a condition called ‘trypophobia’, which is the fear of densely-holed surfaces.  The rationality of the fear relates to the human condition to fear danger lurking in unknown, dark spaces, such as insects that may sting.  I was really surprised at how intense my feeling of disgust and recoil was, especially when I don’t consider myself to be afraid of insects, or pathological natural dangers.Suriname Toad