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domain field – gormley

ANTONY GORMLEY

“How can you make the spaces that people displace into a collective energy field – in other words take the idea of spatial extension from the idea of a singularity, producing an expanded field to an immersive field of individual packets of energy?”

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symptomatic

space

peering into
these lost rooms
rooms all quiet now
mutating into
disappearing into

figures and spectres, ghosts and memories

final report

ART M52

The body of work I produced for the ART M52 module inherently reflected the recent significant events which have had a profound effect on my position in the world and my outlook on life.  The most significant of these events being, the breakdown of a marriage and subsequent divorce and the emotional trauma caused by my mother’s cancer diagnosis.  My own mental health has been a prevalent theme in my work and this remains a constant.  Anxiety, depression, neurosis, obsessive compulsive disorder, addictions and habits are all facets of my own psychological dynamic.  The production of work dealing with these subjects in some way functioned as a therapeutic, cathartic and psychoanalytical process.

The installation I presented at the ART M52 mid-module review (fig.1) I felt was unsuccessful as a whole.  The relationship between each element was aesthetically and formally interesting.  However, the intended symbolic meaning of some of these elements and of the collective works’ was confused and tenuous.  This was due to a lack of consideration of the specific qualities of some of the found objects.  Individually, I felt some of these sculptures within the installation were successful in their own right in particular, the works which became ‘What we were we still are’ (fig.2.) and ‘Teasmade’ (fig.3).   I felt it was important at this point that I focus on individual sculptural works without relying upon the dynamic of a sculptural installation with various elements to provide a more comprehensive representation of the theoretical and conceptual intentions of the work.

Works such as the performance ‘Decree Absolute’ (fig.4) and the video installation ‘Cenophallus’ (fig.5) represented a foray into relatively new mediums in my practice – I feel these works are some of the most successful and have certainly offered me new opportunities in my working practice and methodology.  I am excited by the merging of performative, digital and sculptural methodologies which is evident in the afore mentioned works.  I had discussed the possibility of exploring 3D printing in my NLP and did have a proposed work for this but I became disinterested in the synthetic nature of this medium which was in direct conflict with the material considerations I was making in the other sculptural works.

It has been difficult to contextualise my practice to a greater level which was my intention in this module.  I feel I have only scratched the surface of my research interests.  I seem to have considered mostly practical and theoretical areas within my research which I feel has not built a solid enough foundation for the work.  It was difficult to reference anything other than myself, my past, my present, my experiences and my emotions.  I could not venture beyond my own world, my life as the subject.  Whilst this is natural given the context of the works, it has been detrimental to exploring a wider field of study.
A significant question surrounding my practice was and continues to be how my work sits within a public/gallery context and audience perception.  The first group critique of the module was somewhat of a disaster in terms of articulating any symbolic or metaphysical meaning in the work – the work remained idiosyncratic, cryptic and obtuse apart from a few select elements.  This experience was incredibly beneficial and has aided the development of all of the subsequent works some of which will remained veiled in cryptic symbolism but other I feel are more accessible – in particular, the work ‘Lamentations of the Flesh’ (fig.6) which was made in response to these issues.  I felt an abstract sculpture with more consideration of the metaphysical, the material and universal emotion could transcend the personal context – it remains to be seen if this work is successful in this regard.

ART M57

This body of work was intended to be a continuation and re-examination of the work produced for the ARTM52 module.  The personal events which dominated the context of the previous works were again referenced.  However, the sculptural language articulating these subjects was intended to be more accessible.  In this regard, the subjects of trauma, illness, memory, neurosis and the domestic were referenced.  The work ‘Lamentation of the Flesh’ (fig.6) had demonstrated the use of abstraction and metaphor as a means of moving beyond the past idiosyncratic semiosphere the work existed in – these new theoretical considerations were made in this body of work.  The consideration of abject objects and materials and ready-mades continued.  The previous body of work began to drift away from functioning as mere therapeutic devices as the emphasis of the sculptural object and its associations took hold.  This, coupled with the broadening of the subject matter, would become the catalyst for more experimental work in regard to form and representation.  The work ‘Cenophallus’ (fig.5) can be seen as the beginnings of more a whimsical approach, less constrained by the context of the self.  In this regard, the use of humour, black humour, as a device in the work was strongly considered.

 In the ART M57 module I feel I was able to produce work which was less autobiographical and referential in regard to the dominant personal themes in my previous work – the work I produced was more playful and ironic.  Materials, form, objects and metaphor were investigated in more general terms.  The pieces were ambiguous, some abstract and some open to interpretation.  I am happy to allow the works to exist either as sculptural investigations or as whimsical manifestations of my thought processes.  I feel a sense of freedom in these approaches.  In light of this it is my personal view that the works produced for this module were more experimental in relation to my previous work – whether are not they can be deemed ‘experimental’ is a different question.  I have explored juxtaposition and the synthesis of previously untested materials with some interesting outcomes which I have been happy with.  This body of work was less personal, references remain but the focus is on materials, metaphor and representation in regard to the body and human experience.  There are elements of black humour in the work but succinct examples were lacking – irony is certainly evident.  Scale had become less of a concern.

 The methodologies utilised in this body of work were again dominated by theoretical analysis and intuitive approaches to making.  The collecting and sourcing of objects and materials and the examination of their form and association in the studio formed a large part of the process.  Sculptural was produced by exploring the juxtaposition, deconstruction and synthesis of new materials and processes.  Examining work outside of the studio, in the project space for example, was vital in exploring the dialogues of works and gain more clarification of context and representation.  Intuition and play became the most common strategies in my working processes – this was a refreshing and enjoyable experience.  The unknown element of this methodology was invigorating and enlightening.

Interlude’ (fig.7)- human hair, wooden palettes, Lino floor tiles

I have been interested in human hair, its materials quality and symbolism, for a quite some time.  An earlier work, a small pile of my own hair upon a piece of foam, was revelatory in regard to a method of presenting the hair sculpturally.  The simplicity of the hair merely in a pile allows for complete focus upon the material and its associations.  Time, death, illness and the unclean become thematic and symbolic considerations.  The plinth on which the hair was to be presented became an area of investigation and opportunity – how could the hair be subverted or complimented by a variation on the traditional plinth?  Wooden pallets form a crate resembling some sort of stage-set for the hair sit upon.  Lino floor tiles place the hair within a domestic context – the hair becomes a character or prop within a theatrical scenario.

 

‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ (fig.8) – sweeping brushes, mop, polythene bag, hessian, rice sack, timber

I find the symbolic and metaphorical potential of domestic and utilitarian objects exciting.  The figurative quality of sweeping brushes and mops (upright, a head and hair) presented an opportunity to discuss emotional and psychological themes, turmoil, oppression, trauma, fear, death etc. It would not have been enough for me to merely present these objects as pure ready-mades without juxtaposition or subversion – the potential to play with a narrative and address the thematic concerns of the module was clear.  The four characters stand in what resembles a firing line in various ominous states – kidnapped, suffocating, stowed away.  The ambiguity of the scenario, the symbolism, the metaphor and physical interplay pleased me greatly.

‘Andy Twanky’ (fig.9) – timber, plywood, giclee print

My intention with this module was to investigate black humour and irony in regard to the representation of serious subject matter.  I found that the first series of work from ARTM52 did not represent my character or worldview which I found disconcerting and disingenuous.  I wanted to challenge this by making a piece which was not only humorous but also self-deprecating, satirical and parodic.

‘Beyond the Pail MK2’ (fig.10) – fire bucket, hospital table, lager

This piece deals with the subject of illness and self-medicating.  The hospital table by its very nature references illness and being bedridden.  Metaphorically, the fire bucket suggests danger, an incident and a solution.  The lager in the bucket represents self-medication, its risks and its futility.

‘Case Study’ (fig.11)- suitcase, rock

I have played with different variations of using the suitcase.  The suitcase for me has a multitude of associations including; a vessel of human activity, a metaphor for the self and a trace or fragment of narrative.  The suitcase and the rock begin to look at the materiality and form of things. The manufactured everyday object which is empty and transient alongside the natural permanence of the rock becomes sculpturally profound, like a sculptural counter-point.  An ominous narrative also begins to form as to the purpose of the rock in the suitcase – deadweight for a drowning perhaps?

‘Hairmatch.com’ (fig.13)- human hair, foam, cloth

This piece is a variation on a previous developmental work (fig12).  I wanted to use human hair to discuss contemporary themes regarding the human experience.  The first plinth is a pile of my own hair and the second is a pile of my girlfriend’s hair.

‘Messiah Complex’ (fig.14)- banana skin, wood, panel pins 

The banana skin seems to be a ubiquitous symbol or metaphor for a mishap, a mistake or misfortune – the phrase ‘that’s a potential banana skin’ confirms this.  It is also a comedic device which we see in slapstick routines etc.  The banana skin becomes figurative when nailed to the cruciform – the fool on the cross.  I feel this is a profound work but what does it suggest; the absurdity or delusion of religion, a crucifying embarrassment, the ascension of the fool?

‘Keep Your Shit to Yourself’ (fig.15) – drainage pipe, bin liner

This piece literally suggests waste or excrement leaving a drainage pipe and entering a bin liner.  This is a physical metaphor of the title of the work.  It may either be read as antipathy toward the expressing of emotions or disclosures of turmoil or the guarding or inability express such things.

‘Crutches’ (fig.16)- crutches 

I find this a darkly humorous intervention. I imagine who might have discarded their crutches to use the lift? Where are they now and why do the crutches remain? It is a potential narrative of misfortune and the perhaps absurd reality of impairment. To take my practice beyond the studio has been important as I explore the potential of subverting public spaces with abject and prosaic objects.

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

The initial focus of my professional practice project was a proposal for a solo exhibition at 36 Lime Street, Newcastle – there was an open call for proposals for the exhibition programme.  This seemed like a good opportunity given the stage of career.  36 Lime Street is a cooperative complex of studios and a gallery space in the Ouseburn area of Newcastle – this is certainly not a prominent organisation or a significant gallery in the city.  However, I was wrong and my proposal was rejected and the ‘dear John’ email I received didn’t give me any reason as for why.  Alas, I am familiar with this scenario.  I proposed an exhibition comprising of new work made on the MA programme and previous work which I felt was complimentary under the moniker ‘Memos from Humanity’.  On reflection it is perhaps the case that the proposal lacked a clear contextual basis for the work making it unlikely that the gallery and curator could buy into my vision.  Perhaps my CV and portfolio were not of a sufficient standard and thus not attractive to a gallery in need of considering their profile and commercial standing.  Unfortunately it is difficult to speculate on the reasons for the rebuttal but I was not disheartened.

After falling at the first hurdle I needed a safe bet.  My employer, Newcastle College, have a gallery space in the centre of Newcastle.  The space is of a decent size and could house a comprehensive exhibition of sculptural work.  I have made contact with the gallery manager and been given the go ahead to exhibit in the space in November 2017.  The exhibition will run for three weeks and all costs including publicity will be covered by the college.  Whilst I am aware that the gallery is without a profile and that this is an easy option, I feel this opportunity to have a solo exhibition with such a flexible arrangement will be invaluable in the development of my professional practice and serve me well when exploring future opportunities.

The third stage of my professional practice project involves my work as an academic.  I have been a lecturer on the Foundation Degree Fine Art Practice at Newcastle College since 2014.  Recently the position of Programme Leader of the course became available which I applied for and was successful.  Part of this new role was to redesign the specification of the existing foundation degree programme for revalidation and create a new Level 6 BA (Hons) Fine Art programme which was also to be validated.  This was a huge challenge for me both in regard to curriculum design and in adhering to the protocols of the validation process.

ART M61

My intention with the ART M61 module was to expand upon the piece ‘What we were we still are’ (fig.2) in regard to its context and theoretical basis. It is my personal view is that this is the most successful piece that I have produced during the MA programme.  I find that its simplicity is the basis of its success; the transfusion stand resembling a figure and my mother’s handbag, the ill and the well, the hospital and the home, the disease and the mother, the appliance and the possession. This is a sophisticated and poignant articulation of the events and emotions which been the dominant reference point in my work.  The work of Antony Gormley and the spiritual philosophy surrounding the representation of the figure in space has been a significant part of my research, this is in particular regards to the abstraction of the figure and the connection between physical and spiritual experience.  Gormley said of his work ‘Domain Field’ (fig.17) from 2003:

‘The bodies in DOMAIN FIELD are abstract but nevertheless relate to a real person in time. For me, they are antennae, evoking an attitude while calling for some empathic projection from the viewer as he or she passes through the field. The sculptures call for what they lack: movement, thought, feeling, life. They call upon our conscience, our feeling, our movement, and we become part of the work.’ (Gormley, 2003)

Like the abstracted figures within Domain Field, the installation with its multiple IV stands can be viewed both as a deconstruction of an individual and a collective identity – each stand is an abstracted figure but the collective figures constitute the individual.  This is in specific reference to my mother, her experiences whilst suffering from cancer and how this profound impact this has had on her life and our family.  The stands are adorned with symbolic objects which represent a significant characteristic of her identity and illness – this inherently places the piece in personal territory.  There are symbolic objects which are my mother’s possessions but these are mostly ubiquitous items which can relate to many people.  It is my view that in this expanded or deconstructed view of the individual a collective identity forms which both discusses the universality of the human experience and the shared experience of living with cancer – yes, this work is about my mother but in many ways it is also about anyone living with cancer or who has lost the fight against the disease.

The wider context of the installation references my ongoing research interests around humanist philosophy.  Humanism “refers to the idea that humans, and human experience, are of unique importance” and philosophically it “sees all humans as rational, equal and sharing a common bond”. (McQueen & McQueen, 2010) The notion of the human condition or a universal human experience can be seen to have its roots in the philosophy of humanism in that it places its fundamental belief in the idea of a shared experience in which the capacity and agency of the individual is deemed unequivocal.

However, this is widely refuted as Hannah Arendt argues in her seminal ‘The Human Condition’:

“It is highly unlikely that we, who can know, determine, and define the natural essences of all things surrounding us, which we are not, should ever be able to do the same for ourselves–this would be like jumping over our own shadows.”

Arendt’s position puts into doubt the humanist notion of the potential of individual human life but also brings into view the parameters set in the reality of this existence – what prevents humans from ‘jumping over their own shadows?’  These parameters or hurdles, in humanist thought, are part of a shared human experience.  This, however, can be seen as impossibility in a world so diverse and divisive.  Now, the postmodern world both in schools of philosophical thought and cultural theory brings with it diverging ruminations on the nature of human life.  However, epidemical diseases such as cancer can be seen as unifying experiences in the course of human life building solidarity in an increasingly factional world.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arendt, Hannah. (1958). ‘The Human Condition’. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gormley, Antony. (2003) ‘DOMAIN FIELD’. Available at: http://www.antonygormley.com/projects/item-view/id/222#p0. Accessed: 26/08/2017.

McQueen & McQueen. (2010). ‘Key Concepts in Philosophy’. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

 

artist statement

ARTIST STATEMENT

AG Holder uses sculptural assemblage to reflect upon the relationship between objects and narrative. Taking as a starting point the notion and history of the ready-made, the objects that Holder finds, arranges and manipulates and are often abject, prosaic and utilitarian.

His work has a poetic and symbolic quality that balanced its conceptual framework whilst seeking to bring material form to language working across mediums including poetry, sculpture and performance.  More recently he has investigated themes surrounding humanist philosophy and illness.

MAM’ is an intimate portrait of the artist’s mother, recently diagnosed with cancer.

ARTM61 – NLP

AG HOLDER

ARTM61: PUBLIC EXHBITION

MA FINE ART

2016-2017

  1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This body of work will be a continuation and re-examination of the work produced for the ARTM52 and ARTM57 modules.  The subjects of trauma, illness, memory, neurosis and the domestic will be explored.  It is intended that an installation of ready-mades, bricolage and assemblages will be made exploring the previously discussed themes whilst employing juxtaposition, subversion and metaphor. The work will be in direct reference to a previous work ‘What we were we still are’ and its context.

  1. CULTURAL, HISTORICAL & SOCIAL CONTEXT
  • The Human Condition / Humanist Philosophy
  • Illness, Trauma & Neurosis – philosophy and psychology
  • Therapy & Catharsis in Art
  • The Ready-made & Assemblage
  1. PROJECT INTENTIONS

The intended practice will seek to build on previous methodologies to produce work which has a stronger foundation in contemporary sculpture.  The project will again focus on playing with the notion and history of the ready-made.  It is intended that an installation of ready-mades, bricolage and assemblages will be made exploring the previously discussed themes whilst employing juxtaposition, subversion and metaphor. The subjects of trauma, illness, memory, neurosis and the domestic will be explored in the body of work.

  1. PRACTICE BASED METHODOLOGIES

The methodologies to be utilised in this body of work will be again dominated by theoretical analysis and intuitive approaches to making.  The collecting and sourcing of objects and materials and the examination of their form and association in the studio will form a large part of the process.  Sculptural work will be produced by exploring the juxtaposition, deconstructing and arrangement of objects and materials.

  1. KEY TEXTS
  • Benjamin, A. (1997) ‘Sculpture: Contemporary Form & Theory’. London: Academy Group.
  • Danto, AC. (2014) ‘After the End of Art: Contemporary Art & the Pale of History’. Princeton University Press.
  • Taylor, B. (2006) ‘Sculpture & Psychoanalysis’. London: Routledge.

–          Erwin, E (2002) ‘The Freud encyclopaedia: theory, therapy, and culture’. New York; London: Routledge

  • Charlton, B (2000) ‘Psychiatry & The Human Condition’ Abingdon: Radcliffe Medical
  • Arendt, H (1998) ‘The Human Condition’. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
  • Anderson, W (1997) ‘Therapy and the arts: Tools of consciousness. Harper & Row
  • Gingko Press (2014) ‘Installation Art Now’. London: Gingko Press
  • Foucault, M (1961) ‘Madness & Civilisation’. Paris: Libraire Plon
  • Sontag, S. (2009) ‘Illness as Metaphor’. Penguin Modern Classics.
  • Sontag, S. (2004) ‘Regarding the Pain of Others’. Penguin, New Ed.
  1. INTENDED OUTPUT

The output of the project will be a large scale floor-based installation comprising of ready-mades and assemblages. 

final works – artm57 

ARTM57 – Evaluation

“PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This body of work will be a continuation and re-examination of the work produced for the ARTM52 module.  The personal events which dominated the context of the previous works will again be referenced.  However, the sculptural language articulating these subjects is intended to be more accessible.  In this regard, the subjects of trauma, illness, memory, neurosis and the domestic will be referenced.  The work ‘Lamentation of the Flesh’ has demonstrated the use of abstraction and metaphor as a means of moving beyond the past idiosyncratic semiosphere the work existed in – these new theoretical considerations will be made in this body of work.  The consideration of abject objects and materials and ready-mades will continue as well as a continued exploration of video and sound. 

The previous work began to drift away from functioning as mere therapeutic devices as the emphasis of the sculptural object and its associations took hold.  This, coupled with the broadening of the subject matter, will be the catalyst for more experimental work in regard to form and representation.  The work ‘Cenophallus’ can be seen as the beginnings of more a whimsical approach, less constrained by the context of the self.  In this regard, the use of humour, black humour, as a device in the work will be strongly considered.” – NLP ARTM57

Reflecting on the above project description, I feel I have been able to produce work which is less autobiographical and referential regard to the dominant personal themes in my previous work – the work I have produced is more playful and ironic.  Materials, form, objects and metaphor have been investigated in more general terms.  The pieces are ambiguous, some abstract and some open to interpretation.  I am happy to allow the works to exist either as sculptural investigations or as whimsical manifestations of my thought processes.  I feel a sense of freedom in these approaches.

“CULTURAL, HISTORICAL & SOCIAL CONTEXT

The materials, employed methodologies and representation of the previous and intended sculptural work mirror the Arte Povera movement and the use of non-traditional everyday materials.  The relevance of the theoretical manifesto of the movement in contemporary practice must be considered. Also, the contemporary context of the ready-made must be referenced in light of 2016’s Turner Prize winner Helen Marten’s practice – this challenges the traditional theories of the ready-made.  Post-minimalist approaches to sculpture and the current relevance of abstraction will provide a contextual framework for the intended explorations of form and the abstract.” – NLP ARTM57

There may be correlations in this body of work to the movements and artists initially outlined in the context of the project but for the most part these references are not consciously considered in the production of work or the development of ideas.  These works have been made intuitively and are not underpinned by a research process.  I feel this strategy allows me to have complete freedom to articulate my ideas – there is an honesty and purity of expression which has been tangible in the production of this work.  It may be the case that references and correlations remain evident in this work but this is coincidental.  I have largely referenced my own practice to provide context.  However, I have found the work of Marcel Broodthaers, Bas Jan Ader, Doris Salcedo and Paul McCarthy compelling.

“PROJECT INTENTIONS

The intended practice will seek to build on previous methodologies to produce work which has a stronger foundation in contemporary sculpture.  The originality of the previous work is in question.  Therefore, more experimental sculptural work will be produced by exploring the juxtaposition, deconstruction and synthesis of new materials and processes.  The project will be more ambitious in terms of scale, site and presentation building upon the forays of the previous module.  The work will hopefully be less personal and more accessible through the investigation of metaphor and symbolism in object and materials in more universal terms.  It is intended that the subjects of trauma, illness, memory, neurosis and the domestic will be explored in the body of work.  However, black humour and irony in relation to the representation of these subjects will be explored.” – NLP ARTM57

I feel the works are more experimental in relation to my previous work – whether are not they can be deemed ‘experimental’ is a different question.  I have explored juxtaposition and the synthesis of previously untested materials with some interesting outcomes which I have been happy with.  This body of work is less personal, references remain but the focus is on materials, metaphor and representation in regard to the body and human experience.  There are elements of black humour in the work but succinct examples are lacking – irony is certainly evident.  Scale has become less of a concern.

“PRACTICE BASED METHODOLOGIES

The methodologies to be utilised in this body of work will be again dominated by theoretical analysis and intuitive approaches to making.  The collecting and sourcing of objects and materials and the examination of their form and association in the studio will form a large part of the process.  Sculptural work will be produced by exploring the juxtaposition, deconstruction and synthesis of new materials and processes.  Examining work outside of the studio, in the project space for example, will again be vital in exploring the dialogues of works and gain more clarification of context and representation.” – NLP ARTM57

Intuition and play have been the most common strategies in the production of this work.  This has been a refreshing and enjoyable experience.  The unknown element of this methodology is invigorating and enlightening.  I am hesitant to over-analyse or quantify this process.

Analysis of final works

Interlude’ – human hair, wooden palettes, Lino floor tiles

I have been interested in human hair, its materials quality and symbolism, for a quite some time.  An earlier work, a small pile of my own hair upon a piece of foam, was revelatory in regard to a method of presenting the hair sculpturally.  The simplicity of the hair merely in a pile allows for complete focus upon the material and its associations.  Time, death, illness and the unclean become thematic and symbolic considerations.  The plinth on which the hair was to be presented became an area of investigation and opportunity – how could the hair be subverted or complimented by a variation on the traditional plinth?  Wooden pallets form a crate resembling some sort of stage-set for the hair sit upon.  Lino floor tiles place the hair within a domestic context – the hair becomes a character or prop within a theatrical scenario.

‘Four Horseman of the Apocalypse’ – sweeping brushes, mop, polythene bag, hessian, rice sack, timber

I find the symbolic and metaphorical potential of domestic and utilitarian objects exciting.  The figurative quality of sweeping brushes and mops (upright, a head and hair) presented an opportunity to discuss emotional and psychological themes, turmoil, oppression, trauma, fear, death etc. It would not have been enough for me to merely present these objects as pure ready-mades without juxtaposition or subversion – the potential to play with a narrative and address the thematic concerns of the module was clear.  The four characters now stand in what resembles a firing line in various ominous states – kidnapped, suffocating, stowed away.  The ambiguity of the scenario, the symbolism, the metaphor and physical interplay please me greatly.

‘Andy Twanky’ – timber, plywood, giclee print

My intention with this module was to investigate black humor and irony in regard to the representation of serious subject matter.  I found that the first series of work from ARTM52 did not represent my character or worldview which I found disconcerting and disingenuous.  I wanted to challenge this by making a piece which was not only humorous but also self-deprecating, satirical and parodical.

‘Beyond the Pale MK2’ – fire bucket, hospital table, lager

This piece deals with the subject of illness and self-medicating.  The hospital table by its very nature references illness and being bedridden.  Metaphorically, the fire bucket suggests danger, an incident and a solution.  The lager in the bucket represents self-medication, its risks and its futility.

‘Case Study’ – suitcase, rock

I have played with different variations of using the suitcase.  The suitcase for me has a multitude of associations including; a vessel of human activity, a metaphor for the self and a trace or fragment of narrative.  The suitcase and the rock begin to look at the materiality and form of things. The manufactured everyday object which is empty and transient alongside the natural permanence of the rock becomes sculpturally profound, like a sculptural counter-point.  An ominous narrative also begins to form as to the purpose of the rock in the suitcase – deadweight for a drowning perhaps?

‘Hairmatch.com’ – human hair, foam, cloth

This piece is a variation on a previous developmental work.  I wanted to use human hair to discuss contemporary themes regarding the human experience.  The first plinth is a pile of my own hair and the second is a pile of my girlfriend’s hair.  Gender, relationships and the absurdity and fallacy of online dating is being discussed, confirmed by the title of the work.

‘Messiah Complex’ – banana skin, wood, panel pins 

The banana skin seems to be a ubiquitous symbol or metaphor for a mishap, a mistake or misfortune – the phrase ‘that’s a potential banana skin’ confirms this.  It is also a comedic device which we see in slapstick routines etc.  The banana skin becomes figurative when nailed to the cruciform – the fool on the cross.  I feel this is a profound work but what does it suggest; the absurdity or delusion of religion, a crucifying embarrassment, the ascension of the fool?

‘Keep Your Shit to Yourself’ – drainage pipe, bin liner

This piece literally suggests waste or excrement leaving a drainage pipe and entering a bin liner.  This is a physical metaphor of the title of the work.  It may either be read as antipathy toward the expressing of emotions or disclosures of turmoil or the guarding or inability express such things.

‘Crutches’ – crutches 

I find this a darkly humorous intervention. I imagine who might have discarded their crutches to use the lift? Where are they now and why do the crutches remain? It is a potential narrative of misfortune and the perhaps absurd reality of impairment. To take my practice beyond the studio has been important as I explore the potential of subverting public spaces with abject and prosaic objects.

 

final body of work – artm57

1. Untitled – human hair, wooden palettes, Lino floor tiles

2. ‘Four Horseman of the Apocalypse’ – sweeping brushes, mop, polythene bag, hessian, rice sack, timber

3. ‘Andy Twanky’ timber, plywood, giclee print

4. ‘Beyond the Pale MK2’ – fire bucket, hospital table

5. ‘Case Study’ – suitcase, rock

6. ‘Hairmatch.com’ – human hair, foam, cloth

7. ‘Messiah Complex’ – banana skin, wood, panel pins 

8. ‘Keep Your Shit To Yourself’ – drainage pipe, bin liner

9. ‘Crutches’ – crutches 

10. ‘Nobhead’ – sex toy and mirror

Why do people tell sick jokes about tragedies?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12775389