Kensington & Chelsea College (KCC) final show of professional Development Sculpture Course, May 2013
– materials: plaster, dressmaking threads. £300
I grew up at my dressmaker mother’s feet, surrounded by fabric scraps, pattern paper and threads. I enjoyed rummaging through the thread boxes, marveling at the chaos of tangled, myriad of colours formed by a seemingly endless pit of reels. Revisiting my art practice after decades of neglect, I find myself using fabric and threads once again, in a very different way.
This sculpture echoes back to phases of my life – as a couture dressmaker, weaver, teacher and now sculptor, and in turn symbolizes the ‘threads’ that make up the fabric of my own life: people; places; experiences and the different aspects of my persona I have unpicked, revived, and am still discovering each day. Threads also represent the philosophy of the Mentor Disciple relationship in my Buddhist practice, which has significantly shaped how I view myself, others and my role in this world:
“The relationship between mentor and disciple”, writes Daisaku Ikeda, “can be likened to that between needle and thread. The mentor is the needle and the disciple is the thread. When sewing, the needle leads the way through the fabric, but in the end it is unnecessary, and it is the thread that remains and holds everything together.”
SGI Quarterly, January 2010
– materials: plywood & laminated photographs, child’s desk and chairs. Not for sale.
In this sculpture, the audience is invited to sit at a desk and play with the puzzle cubes.The intention is to highlight the perceptions we have about nudity, gender and sexuality; the conditioning, value judgments and beliefs we hold about our own and other people’s bodies. I am interested in the relationship we form with our bodies. How we react to nudity. We seem to have a very unnatural relationship with our very natural bodies. We live with a constant personal and public critique of our bodies. This work is an attempt to encourage us to get comfortable with the amazingly unique visual of the human body, to engage in a playful exploration of the human torso with a very natural voyeuristic curiosity we have about other people’s bodies. The models’ narratives can be read on the wall.
• How comfortable are we in our own skin and being nude?
• How comfortable are we with others who are comfortable with their nudity?
• Can we interact with these images with a sense of playful curiosity – without judgment or discomfort – and appreciate the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of each human form?
Fellow exhibitor Emma Buggy http://emmabuggy.com and friend sit playing with the Nude Cubes.
The following comments are the words of those who modelled for the Nude Cubes and are on display in the installation:
“Documenting my natural nakedness was not only fun and affirming [assisted by loving trust with the photographer] it was also an act of defiance against media indoctrination and its false representations of women. In celebration I deliberately didn’t shave! feel freer and proud to have been contributing to such challenging, responsible work!”
“I agreed to model for this project for a variety of reasons – I like and respect the artist, I felt the project itself was interesting and the body-positive motivation behind it is very much in line with my own thoughts on the subject. On the day of the shoot we had arranged for the artist to visit me at home to take the pictures, so I was very relaxed and was looking forward to it. I have never had any naked pictures taken of me before, but I didn’t have any concerns about these ones being taken. I’m not a particularly self-conscious person, especially with my female friends, so when it was time to take the pictures I didn’t feel shy or embarrassed about taking off my clothes. I have never been naked in front of the artist before but it didn’t feel awkward. I have an ‘imperfect’ body and there are parts of me, my saggy tummy for example, which I try to disguise when I’m dressed and which I would change if I wasn’t so lazy but there are other parts I like – my boobs, my face, my bum. Being naked just made me feel ‘well here it is, no disguising any of this now’ which is quite liberating. ”
“Standing naked in front of anyone first time can feel awkward , all you are exposed to see, nothing to hide those parts we all have that don’t quite look how we want. When its in front of a camera those feelings heightened further yet within seconds of undressing for pictures i felt relaxed as you was professional to a tee. Our bodies aren’t meant to be perfect we all have different shapes, we are all unique. I’m happy to share this and like that i have curves. Having them captured was a good wonderful feeling 🙂 to be a part of your work is a pleasure thanks for asking me.”
“Was fairly nervous about being full frontal in front of the camera as I don’t think I have a particularly flattering body type or big penis, but once I disrobed it was fun and I found myself getting I to it, however I am very reluctant to look at the pictures as I’d feel despondent about facing up to the fact I don’t look after my body as well as I should.”
“I enjoyed modeling for your project, I like taking part in an art project. For me it’s something one can be proud of, so I am proud! I feel very confident about my body, so I don’t have any problems posing nude for the camera.”
“I feel comfortable in my nakedness, which pleases me as I have grown into and live in a society where we are bombarded with conflicting messages about our bodies. We find it difficult to be at ease with our bodies and within our bodies. Yet we are nothing without it.”