. . . N E G O T I A T I N G . N E W . S O C I A L . R E A L M S . . .
A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
My art practice takes shape through live performance, moving-image, poetry and photography. My practice is site and context responsive. Sites of interest have been the traditional gallery space and other non-conventional spaces such as a fish factory, a discothèque, an allotment and a library. I aim to voice and discuss contemporary dilemmas and themes such as shifting modes of communication and ways of living. My experience of living on a boat and travelling far afield triggers my most recent work. My work is often developed through consultation with my family and the general public. The objective of my process-led practice is to engage, inspire and stimulate diverse audiences to consider new ways of being and coming together. ?xml:namespace>
C O N T A C T
Based in London and Cornwall, UK
Fascinations with Fabrications
In Fascinations with Fabrications, participants wear Mona Lisa masks while unraveling raw canvas. The canvas threads are then recoiled onto bobbins for future use. Participation through invitation maintains momentum to the task and also intrigues other to join in when passing. Each thread is tied together, symbolising togetherness, resourcefulness and skillfulness. The participants may be strangers so the performance creates a new social realm to explore. Open dialogue is allowed. This subject of the conversations flits between various subjects, relishing a life-like dynamic. We can hear general chit-chat dotted with comments referential to globalisation, hidden labour, workers rights and alternative histories.
I am intrigued to reanimate historical figures through communal performance. It is useful to suspend resolved narratives and disrupt consolidated identities as a method of critical progression. In the case of the Mona Lisa, this performance spotlights her original existence as a lone passive spectacle. The painted depiction of the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci is widely known for having an intriguing smile and mysterious identity. Despite these unknowns, a woman born at this time would have had skills in stitch work. The unravelling reveals the feminine craft-work as the foundation of a predominantly masculine art medium. The media of thread work and performance have been delayed in gaining legitimate acceptance in the arts. This has been caused by the repetitive teaching of skewed history. This delay must be discussed, as it causes a limitation of healthy progress, of the arts and in wider society.
My durational performance allow for toilet-stops, lunch-breaks and mitigating circumstances. These occurances question the ethical treatment within human labour, so my performances are explicit in celebrating these needs. I imagine a situation at the Lourve when Mona Lisa decides not to work. People arrive, expecting to be entertained yet she is absent. Post-performance, of Fascinations with Fabrications, the participants have gone home yet the workspace is left intact. The masks hang modestly on the back on the chairs. A handwritten note reads ‘Taking a break…come back soon’.