How would you describe your practice?
My work is intuitively made as an outlet to assimilate and process life. I am fascinated by individual vulnerability, and the beauty found in the imperfections of human relationships. Generally my work is quite varied, and I enjoy exploring materials and practice that best suit the idea.
How does the participatory nature of your work impact your audience?
This will be my second project that is participatory in nature. What interests here is that I’ll never know how it will impact people. If a garment with a care label in it is bought from an op-shop, it may never be noticed, or one day after some time of owning it, someone may discover it and get a little giggle out of it, or it could strike a chord and make them think. I like that the care label will be subtle in its environment, and the mysterious revelation of it will allow people to consider the work in their own personal way.
What responses have people had to your work?
Some years ago I did a project called ‘Shelf life’ which looked at the effects of packaging and consumerism and the way we view a products’ useful life. I placed this back on the individual by asking them to determine their own ‘Best Before’ and ‘Expiry’ date, and stamped them sequentially on their forehead and photographed them. It was remarkable how uncomfortable this made people feel. Superstition reared in practically and scientifically minded folk. Many young people demonstrated that they were well past their ‘Best Before’ date, whilst other people even made their ‘Expiry’ date a date long past in reference to a career or way of life that was no longer. Some felt out of place in our current time, indicating they would have been more at home as hedonistic pagans, BC, in a world without the current moralistic stance. By asking people to treat the self as we treat products, it was interesting to see the repercussions on the psychological state, leading to reflection on our own mortality, usefulness and longevity.
What difficulties do you face in your practice?
I’m very easily distracted. A whiff of a good time happening outside of the studio when I’m not heavily involved in a project and I’m out of there. I would love to blame outside sources. But I cannot. There is a general unhurriedness of pace followed by a frenetic resolution. I’m a careful but not a prolific maker, I have to wait for an idea to show up, and then I usually can’t make anything else until that one is done.
Who's work do you find inspiring right now?
I’m influenced by a range of artists. I really like work that is unafraid to show vulnerability. I think artists like David Shrigley and Elliot Collins convey a lot of humour through their work which makes the painful/embarrassing/haunting ideas relatable. Lately I’ve been influenced a lot by my friend Rick who kindly tolerates me bumbling around in his joinery workshop, and patiently teaches me some tricks of his trade.