I am heavily interested in the notion of fragmented materials and the organic matter; this is an endless focus in my practice through my choice of materials. The second work for my MFA show is a 7 foot x 4 foot angle iron frame; what I have been continuously struggling with is what will reside with this minimal form. I started to experiment with various materials and objects; netting, nylon nude tights, string, wax, domesticated objects such as dusters and mops and latex. There is always a continuous emphasis on opposites that resides in my work; the idea of tension or compatibility. Therefore I began to play with different compositions and positioning of these possible objects draped over the angle iron frame. Sometimes, I do find that less is more and in this instance with this piece of work it’s becoming a struggle to form a dialogue. What do I wish this work to speak to me as the artist and the viewer? I then started to think of a title, words that respond to the aesthetic to the work; ‘Organic Abstraction’ sprang to mind and instantly framed the essence of the work. Latex began to appear as an inorganic material that possessed a strong distressing appearance of skin decomposing under the strain of its weight, daylight and heat. I began pouring latex onto the floor in long strips, forming long and thin sheets that drape over the frame. There is a wonderful fragility and translucency about the latex that is juxtaposed with the strong presence of the industrial angle iron frame.
I began researching Carol Rama and found her use of objects and industrial materials in her later works very appealing and seductive on the eye. Her father was also involved in industry and this had a profound influence on her use of materials and practice as an artist. There is a profound emphasis on the human and animal anatomy; both mocking and ignoring the standardized binaries. There is a clear tension that appears in her work appearing to be beautiful but is benign. “The urge to devour in order to possess. All the while knowing that we are devouring ourselves.” (Carol Rama) The body has begun to emerge more predominately in my current work; there is a strong visceral essence and presence that has begun to invade. Does sculpture convey its grammatical tense? What is interesting with using organic elements is the desire to keep something alive in the present tense. I’ve sat with the work, observing its qualities and find an explicit use of material and ongoing transition that presents itself through the use of the latex. The juxtaposition of weight, texture and colour; the thin, light and fragmented sheets of latex draped over this heavy, angle iron frame begins to question my fetish for materials.
What continues to reign over my work is the physical tangibility that begins to evoke precarious qualities. I began questioning whether these works are forms of self-portraits and came across Rama’s quote “These are extraordinary self-portraits, extraordinary, not because they are beautiful, but the idea of these tits and bull dicks, this way of seeing anatomy of everybody in shared parts, extreme.” How I sometimes find my work a response to my physical presence, ability and understanding of one’s own body. Referring back to industry in the works, there was a strong presence present throughout my childhood and continues to evoke questions, material choice and physical ability and skill. The scale of my work has transitioned and continues to evolve; having consistent contact with hard, heavy and traditional materials that form the focus and central core to the work.