It has been an incredible journey for me across the Graduate Diploma and onto the Sculpture MA. Over this time, I have developed an experimental and innovative practice, learning to align my making with what I am going through personally, as I put more of myself into my work. While my research has enabled me to ground and expand my conceptual ideas, I must stress that the source is the body itself, both as an access point to an ‘otherness’ beyond the physical self and as the mnemonic record of lived experience. The transformative and self-revelatory nature of this approach is as important to me as the results and as I continue to expand and explore the means and media of its expression, it is this core which I expect to anchor my professional identity into the future.
My graduation show work, ‘If you knew who you were,’ articulates a conflictual experience of self, on the one hand confident in an expanded identity on the other fraught with the anxiety of lived experience. I pair this with imagery from performances which centre on coming into the body as an access point to liminal space. This pairing of gesture and voice as mechanisms of deep personal expression, explores the body as a distributed intelligence and asks how the self may be understood differently when inhabited through a Deleuzian lens.
The digital manipulation of sound and visuals draws on Char Davies’ ideas of a dehabituation of the senses, through effects which disobey the laws of physical reality; contradicting expected relationships of Cartesian space and disrupting the perception of figure and foreground. Such effects, do not seek to imitate reality, but to defamiliarise it. Or in the words of Viveiros de Castro, ‘in the act of becoming, what changes is not the subject, but the world.’ Beauty here becomes not sentimental or soft, but a mechanism for the suspension of thinking that accompanies the ‘wow.’ Rhythm and repetition reinforce the intention that the work be experienced rather than understood.
The show installation incorporating a minimalist interface, with projected light and surround speakers, explores sound as a sculptural medium. If sculpture is a preoccupation with the spatial, then because sound is also spatial, it is as valid a sculptural medium as clay. Yet, what is at stake here is more than just the spatial dimension of sound. Rather it is an alternate reading of, or relation to space itself. Here space is a force, a palpable presence, even an intelligence, which transcends its location and opens onto ‘otherness.’