Final year project
Rest in Knowledge [Read more]
Life Jackets at Fountain, spray painted plaster over wire armature
This image is a photoshop mockup of my 'life jacket' sculptures situated around the fountain on campus. The abstracted life jackets aim at depicting the distorted and one-dimensional impression of the migrant crisis many in the UK and globally receive when the only exposure one has to the crisis is through online images and watered-down news reports.
The fountain is a location where many people pass through without thought and are often consumed by getting to their desired location. The action of an audience flowing through space without necessarily thinking of their surroundings represents the 'blasé' attitude of some people in this country that don't necessarily stop and consider the struggle of those seeking asylum.
Oil Stick Life Jackets on Floor, oil stick on paper
This series was created as part of my semester one experimentation into the ways in which I can depict how we perceive asylum seekers and how our view of them is shaped/distorted by the one-dimensional images we see in the media, of which we have ultimately become desensitised to. This series of drawings initiated an important exploration into audience-artwork relationship and response, and through the process of displaying the work on the floor in group tutorials and 'living room showcases', a powerful sense of depth to the meaning of the drawings was created,
The initially ambiguous subject matter and medium spark curiosity within the audience to decipher what the work is about and how the subtle textures of the drawing were created. As the work was displayed on the floor, this meant that the audience must get on their hands and knees in order to understand what the work is about and the medium that was used. Presenting the work in this way creates an interesting irony whereby the generally 'privileged' audience gets down on their hands and knees to view a work depicting the abject.
Dover Beach, satin blanket with felt lettering.
To capture the irony of the UK's treatment and reception of some individuals seeking asylum on our shores, I sewed thin squares of satin material together to create a somewhat functionless blanket that wouldn't keep anyone warm or dry, or give anyone a sense of security, despite it being made from a relatively luxurious material. The blanket contains two stanzas from the poem 'Dover Beach' by Matthew Arnold, a location of great beauty and national heritage, but also the shores on which many migrants have entered the UK from, and of which many did not reach.
Each letter was tediously stencilled and cut out from orange felt (the colour of life jackets), then arranged and stuck onto the blanket. Overall there is a sense of the great care and time spent on the creation of the blanket, but ultimately the end product is impractical and efforts creating the blanket futile.
Clay Lifejacket Maquettes
My initial idea for the sculptures at the fountain was to create them using clay, and so I first created these small-scale maquettes in order to experiment with moulding the form and testing out glazes. Although I found plaster to be a material better suited to large-scale works, these clay maquettes served as a useful reference to sculpt the form of the bigger wire armatures that would later be plastered and spray painted.
I take inspiration from real-world events and aim to bring attention to the ongoing humanitarian crises around the globe.
My work this academic year has been centred around the key theme of the 'abject being' by representing the distorted view many in a position of privilege in the UK have developed regarding their attitudes towards and desire to help asylum seekers who seek peace and citizenship on our shores.
Rather than settling on a singular medium to communicate my ideas, I have utilised various materials that naturally catered to the abstraction of source material and thus reflected the abject and distorted views of the audience in the work.
Over the past 3 years, there has always been a humanitarian undertone to my work which has highlighted to me that my purpose in the workplace would be to use my passion for people and creative skills I have developed through this degree to educate in some way or work to help those in need.
Final year project
Rest in Knowledge