Dusty Watts (she/her)
I enjoy working three dimensionally, creating props, products and puppets to explore various topics. My work lends itself to the slightly ridiculous or surreal, playing on reality to produce outcomes that are humorous or strange. I often find myself producing pieces of ephemera and products that allow me to build worlds around fictional characters or narratives.
Though my ideas tend to culminate in physical outcomes, my research process extends into drawing, collage, animation and film making. Through an extensive process of making and research I am able to create a world in which my somewhat ridiculous outcomes are grounded in reality and can believably exist.
I find that I am often more driven by scenarios and situations that I feel has something that can be addressed rather than specific narratives. My other works have explored many different topics. I have looked at etiquette on nudist beaches, creating a series of products that strangely addressed various problems people said they had faced, socially distanced dating, creating a selection of puppets of my friends in couples so as to allow them to touch without breaking the law, as well as other more serious topics.
Arcane in the Mundane
This project aimed to explore and underline the importance of rehabilitation through creative endeavours within prisons. For this project, there were two final outcomes. One was a collection of hand-carved soaps that aimed too decontextualise the image of the prisoner within a domestic space. The second outcome was a visual essay, made up of a series of somewhat abstract collages that illustrated various issues surrounding the prison system and the journey to rehabilitation and reform.
World Wrestling Entertainment
For my project exploring World Wrestling Entertainment I created a mockumentary style film and collection of physical artefacts documenting the life of fictional character Brad ‘The Butcher’ Benson. Through developing a character and building a world around him, I was able to explore the idea of off- and on-stage personas, linking to the ‘fixed’ nature of WWE. I wanted to depict the evolution of aesthetics within the industry through creating various pieces of ephemera relating to different eras. The film’s eccentric props and blatant use of green screen is a nod towards the blurring of real and fake within wrestling and an underlining of its classification as sports entertainment. Looking at the biographies of wrestlers, this allure of performance and drama is what underpins many and was something I wanted to highlight. This project was particularly enjoyable as I was able to experiment with so many different mediums and making processes, utilising manual print processes, editing softwares, sewing and paper-mache.