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Work in progress
February 13, 2010, 10:08 pm
Filed under: ABOUT

The Proposal…

Not drowning, but waving

This body of work is a continuation of themes I have explored for the past two years- attempts to come to terms with death, and the impermanence of life. I have found no easy answers for the questions provoked by death; What happens when we die? Is this it? Do we have a ‘soul’? Where does it go? And why?

Aesthetically this work is informed by the shrine, places for contemplation and prayer, where confessions are made, and questions asked. I’m interested in how the concept of the shrine has developed in different cultures. In Japan the Shinto shrine is informed by the ‘wabi-sabi’ philosophy of aesthetics, leading to a muted minimalism and modest materials. This is in contrast to Haitian or Mexican traditions, which insist on the celebration of life – decorative, kitsch, and vividly coloured.

In my art practice I usually make objects from stuffed fabric. I’m interested in the ritualistic aspect of needlework. With a needle and thread scraps of fabric are given physical shape, brought to life and become animate. Recently I have begun to use clay in my work, drawn to its tactile nature and immediacy. Its age brings with it a sense of permanence, that it has outlived any human body made of flesh and bone. This feels relevant in the context of work which deals with notions of mortality.

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