I’ve been continuously questioning gendered qualities or associations that cross over in my work; the choice of materials and objects and the gendered qualities they become associated with. What is the tension between materials? What is the relationship between presence and absence in the work; and in the space the work is situated? How do I define femininity and masculinity in the work? I need to consider the works parodies and how it functions in relation to female sculpture and installation. Does the work convey an anatomical or anthropomorphic quality, aesthetic maybe? What’s crucial in my practice is the dialogue between materials; however I view space as a material in relation to my work. The material aesthetic and relationship that forms when producing the work has a sense of physicality and materiality. How can I produce the work to possess the quality instead of illustrating the quality?
My focus is to work with the foam and steel structures and to continue to explore the distortion and the extension of gender. I had previously addressed how the work had taken on an anthropomorphic nature; these qualities come to focus in my most recent exploration with foam and substance/fluid. Continuing to develop these forms and relationships between materials and questioning how the foam can convey the tension, gravity? The weight and depth of the foam forms suggest sacks of flesh, pieces of fat or perhaps an extension of human form. What’s interesting to consider is how sex can be read through materials. I attended Sarah Lucas in Conversation ‘Power in Woman’ on Tuesday evening at the Royal College of Surgeons, London; Lucas made it clear how she tends to work with what she’s got, what’s around at the time, recycled, reused and other basic materials. How can one put value on materials? Her work has a clear bodily and gender aesthetic; does gender have a binary quality? Can the work not be what it is? These are all interesting aspects that arose during the conversation but I realised how my work is purely about material, site, form and scale.
What arose yesterday whilst spending the day in the studio space at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff was how interaction and the physical nature of the materials and objects inhabited the space. There was a sense of a journey through the space; setting a scene, creating a dialogue between site, materials and artist. However the work was not on display (to the public) but purely placed for documentation and exploration of media. I need to consider placement; do I leave work in location over a period of time for people to stumble upon it? Does the work posses a theatrical aesthetic or quality?
There is an element of an unfinished quality; the use of the spot lamps, cables left in eye view and large tarpaulin sheets layed across the floor. Why are these objects left in a raw state? The foam forms were submerged in water, hung with meat hooks and left to sag, seep and drip onto the floor. Another element that comes into focus is the gushing sound of the drips onto the sheeting creating an uneasy, tense atmosphere surrounding the work. Working in a range of locations allows me to experience the work in new ways and challenge that dialogue between materials, objects and space.