Residing within the worlds of both conceptual art and craftsmanship, my practice explores the complexity of contemporary issues within our socially constructed society. Whether the format of the work is stone carving, performance or sewing a tailored garment, I use a variety of mediums to explore these ideas, with the objects I make acting as vehicles for visual communication. I am interested in themes of labour, process and skill, coupled with conceptual ideas around life and society. These contemporary enquiries around commodity and culture are juxtaposed with the manual production of the handmade object. However, there are many additional layers of contradiction to my works: between the materials, message, presentation, sign and signified, I aim to create a visual language between sincerity and sarcasm.
I use satirical irony as a tool to mobilise challenging subjects. Experimenting with uselessness, absurdity, exaggeration and humour; the work becomes a parody of art itself. This lightheartedness is intended to make each artwork more accessible and relatable to its audience. Despite having a multifaceted creative practice, the consistency within my work can be found within the use of humour, visual aesthetics, craft and issues of universal concern.
Behind this initial irony often lies a sobering reflection upon society. After researching The Incongruity Theory, (which describes the template of humour as the shortfall between what is expected and what is presented), I began using the space between humour and reality to question our idea of truth. This is used to explore social constructions, how our society functions, and our responses to it. As Author of Art and Laughter, Sheri Klein explains: ‘The visual satirist mimics the knowledge and behaviour of a culture or group to overemphasise and exaggerate aspects of life and its foibles with the hope of provoking laughter or a change of attitude or ways’ (Klein, S, 2007, P.16). Through the investment of time and labour into the fabrication of my artworks, I wish to emphasise the importance of reflecting upon issues which are often overlooked. By revealing these debates within a moment of unexpected humour, I aim to invite the audience to reconsider the infrastructure of their socially constructed worlds.
Klein, S., (2007), Art and Laughter, London: B.Tauris