creative ENGAGEMENT STATEMENT
Art improves wellbeing by providing an outlet for people to express themselves. As a facilitator, I feel it is important that I am able to tailor my approach to each individual. By working creatively with many audiences I can allow the arts to become easily accessible to them. I achieve this through encouraging hands on and visual learning.
I specialise in creating and using sensory resources when working with all audiences, particularly under 5's along with those with additional needs.
When working with groups, my focus is on how the making process can explore the different ways people respond to objects and materials. This approach works well in a collaborative participatory setting, because it creates an environment where ideas can be shared and evolved. I do this alongside encouraging their individual approaches and celebrate the importance of having a unique response to a material or object - embracing and honing this into a piece of art.
When delivering sculpture based workshops, I aim to highlight the changes that are happening in the making of sculpture today and allow participants to break away from the more traditional approaches they may be used to. This stems from the heart of my practice being that any object I come across can become a material in which to make a sculpture.
My drawing and mark-making workshops open drawing up to a new, and in some cases scared, audience. I aim to make drawing accessible and open. Encouraging participants to try new materials, new techniques and in some case alternative approaches, with no fear.
"You have taught me that drawing is like magic" [a quote from a 7 year old participant in a mark making session.]
Seashells, plant pots, doorbells, glasses, bottle-tops, china dolls, plastic soldiers, light bulbs, umbrellas, champagne flutes, yoghurt pots, telephones, fake flowers, car tires, teapots, hair brushes, beads, road signs, forks and spoons, stuff.
This is the stuff we collect, treasure, discard, reuse, frame or hide.
My obsession with stuff has stemmed from a fascination with the illogicality of the misunderstood condition of hoarding; motivated by the personal relationship and research I have done into the condition.
Hoarding – "a suffocating yet fascinating, illogical, misunderstood condition that is a response to the dismissive, wasteful, thoughtless society which we find ourselves living in”
I am a sculptor whose practice combines the use of everyday objects and some traditional sculpture techniques. I work with found, discarded or hoarded objects which I then bind together using materials such as string, tape, paint, plaster, wax and fabric; creating a sense of uniformity as well as ambiguity. During the spontaneous construction process, the associations I have with the objects sometimes influence how they are placed within the sculpture. However, through the application and combination of different materials, I strip these objects of their practical connotations. This reduces them to “things”, allowing them to be redefined and reinterpreted. My combination of the objects and materials and colours I chose leads to a tacky, twee, kitsch aesthetic.
In my sculptures I also revisit the childhood like fascination with funfairs and the loud, garish, colourful, moving shapes. It is these spaces that trigger temporary yet highly sensuous experiences, which these new works evoke. Despite being completely opposite, a claustrophobic hoarders home and a large open funfair, both create a highly sensuous experience, as the senses are stimulated but in very different ways.
My practice is viewer oriented, where I aim to create a conversation between the sculpture and its audience. So, it is important to me that the process is recognisable within the sculptures and that the viewer is able to investigate and dissect the component materials. The use of used objects within my work seeks to critically reflect on the throw-away society in which we live. By appropriating and reusing discarded objects, I give them a new lease of life that is charged with fun and surreal moments that stimulate the viewers imagination.
My most recent work focuses on the material of plastic, a highly mass produced material that consumes everyday life. I run this exploration alongside the societal response where individuals attempt to go 'plastic-free'. I'm using old discarded 'penny' toys along with other highly recognisable plastic objects which also bring a nostalgic element to the work.
My paintings and large scale ink drawings explore form and abstraction. They depict the process of painting and how different mediums and materials interact with each other on the surface. Through layering, the paintings create continuous visual stimulus, as something new is always waiting to be seen.
IoMA (Institute of Miniature Art) is a project I have been running from my studio, since September 2019, with an online platform on Instagram. The gallery provides a space for small-scale artworks, in any medium to be exhibited. IoMA has already exhibited 11 exhibitions which have included sculpture, painting, print, poetry, sound, ceramics, artist-books and textiles.
This gallery is open to submissions of all types of artwork created on a miniature scale and then I curate exhibitions shown publicly online. This project is still in the very early stages but I hope to be able to develop it further with outreach potential in the future. In February 2020 the gallery hosted a month-long residency with, Leeds based, Creative Mothers Project, which provided 5 evoking exhibits about motherhood.
IoMA is always open to submissions of artworks, projects or residencies, so get in touch at email@example.com