My interest in ruins and objects started when I was very young, my Nan used to live in front of the old cotton mills in Lancashire, and we would explore, forage and play in and around them. I found them fascinating, these huge buildings and derelict towers with hundreds of small windows full of old machinery, imagining the histories of the people who used to live there whether real or fantasy.
I relish any opportunity for me to explore and navigate the rich history of industry and its lost fragments of information within. By refusing to accept conventional boundaries within sculpture and to translate this into my practice. Walter Benjamin wrote, “For every image of the past that is not recognised by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably”. History and its fragments stand as memories within the human mind, it is only when we confront fragments that memory is awakened, creating a surreal moment of connection with artwork, object, and audience.
The work I create is centered on the found object as a fragment or ruin to be translated, through an exploration of its purpose in time and how we relate to it. With such unpredictable futures, we turn to the narratives of the past, yet today’s reality is neither a future imagined nor a return to history, it is an abandonment of these temporalities. Capturing that which extends beyond the facts into the realm of experience and emotion.
By manipulating, disrupting and re-evaluating the tensions between the object and its lost function. Through examining the creative and destructive drive within, juxtaposing facts and fictions of lost information from a social or cultural history. This process is examining deeper-rooted contemporary issues of industry and the human connections within the meaning of the object, as a language that is translated in a painterly exploration of sculpture, photography, and installation.
For Marx “Only when an object is consumed does it shed its material nature and become a product.” When this object is discarded and becomes a ruin, does it then take on its previous material being, become something new, or carry the burden of a history it acquired through time? It’s these questions I intend to explore through my work.
Influential artists within my practice are many but it is Robert Rauschenberg and Anselm Kiefer’s pieces that create a narrative through both the readymade object and collections of found materials, with these they create work that translates meaning with historical and political context. Along with Mona Hatoum and Marlene Dumas both these artists create a tension between art and society drawing our attention to the domestic and a hidden anxiety within a ‘typical’ female environment. These artists create work that is raising issues that are both relevant to history and present day.