The Babushka or Matryoshka traditionally shows a woman containing many smaller people like children inside. I like the idea of using the same symbolism to show the idea of many people within a person, or the many different sides of a person. The happy, sad, dark and light . The many layers we contain.
The object is slip cast and modeled in white earthenware.
While we are fed images of the ‘perfect body’ on a daily basis I think it is right to emphasise that in the end we are all just skin, bone, hair and fat. These photos were made to explore the human body as it is, in a very matter of fact way without reference to ugliness or beauty. This was my starting point for Premaruupa and a celebration of all things ‘imperfect’. See projects.
Based on one of my own mementos , a plastic pregnancy sick which was the first confirmation that my daughter existed, and I felt a beautiful form in itself. I wanted to remake this stick into something that looked precious, and so reflected my feelings about it.
It was remade into this jewellery- like object, using 3D printmaking, and from a form made on computer aided design, It is gold plated and contains two pearls from my mother’s broken pearl necklace, which had been in turn left to my daughter. This seemed to unite the three generations in the piece. I chose the black and red box as it felt very womb like, and so seemed to fit the project.
In the Reading room of the Scottish National Gallery are a hypnotic set of plaster casts based on Victorian ideas of phrenology and how facial features can be read to reveal the character of the person. It brings up all sorts of questions about how we judge a person according to look, and the labels we attach to people.
It was interesting how, in the life plaster casts made, some models were resisting ( Male Typical Celtic) and others placid and compliant. Nothing much seemed to faze ‘female extreme cunning’!
Reading between the lines – ceramic and digital photograph 2016
Reading between the lines – Digital photo 2016
Locked in – Digital photo 2015
A mixture of slip cast ceramic anatomical hearts with crumpled letters. I liked these forms and combined them in this piece entitled ‘Reading between the Lines’. They tell a story. I like the fact that it may be a different story for every individual and not one of them is right or wrong.
Looking at ideas of physical perfection and the ideal of Greek beauty, I wanted to look at what would happen if we revered the imperfect or unusual, rather than beauty and perfection. Premaruupa is an imaginary deity who symbolises imperfection, bodily and otherwise. Her name is a combination of two Sanskrit words Prema – unconditional love and ruupa meaning appearance. This is her Creation story.
In the beginning we were all in parts and only saw ourselves in parts. We struggled our way out of the clay to make sense of ourselves, as a whole or a form.
Premaruupa started like this too, but she came out of the clay in the wrong order. Parts got lost and got added and ended up in the ‘wrong’ place, or in the ‘wrong’ shape. It was in her nature, and in time those other people who had also struggled out of the clay started to realise this.
Still they struggled to be whole, inside and out, until they decided it was unavoidable to be parts. They started to accept their parts, that came out in the wrong order, the wrong shape, that were added and taken away, or were missing. As they loved Premaruupa for the strange thing that she was, and saw her beauty and their own, in incompleteness, far too muchness and imperfection.
In my Masters show I invited visitors to participate in the reverence and acceptance of the imperfect by giving her offerings. Religion is often seen in terms of war and oppression, and it is forgotten that there may be another side to it in terms of healing. Visitors offerings are shown in this gallery, click on any picture to start Gallery.
Their only record remains in photos and drawings as the clay was taken back to it’s source. That is, it was taken back to wet clay. This is the tradition in many cultures with offerings. The offerings are made useless or destroyed completely, and it is only in doing this that they pass from the human realm, to the realm of Gods and Goddesses.
A collaboration between myself and poet/ writer./ artist Maureen Sangster . A country lane near my home was the stomping ground of generations of young people and children all who left their marks on the trees. These form a timeline from 1948 onwards. The visuals were taken and edited by myself and the poem produced in response to the place and my images by Maureen. This film was shown in Cupar Arts Festival 2010 in The Silo and on Cupar Bandstand, as well as Stanza Poetry Festival, St Andrews 2011.