I trained in Social Research before becoming an artist, and the two are inseparable to me – my art is sociology – it looks at the mechanics of the social world and how we exist in relation to them.
The work I make seeks to reflect social realities by creating self-contained worlds that act as magnifying glasses, that allow audiences to experience emphasised elements of the world. I do this through installation and interactive technology, often using the body to access feelings…
I live under a cloud of pervasive ALIENATION: oppression, social and financial inequality, gender roles, depression, childhood trauma, exploitation, disconnection, capitalism, climate change, individualism, consumerism.
Art, as IMAGINATION, allows me to think beyond these experiences, to see things differently from the way they are, to embrace the difference I can already see and to dream of even more. Art is the process of seeing a ‘reality’ and offering its opposite: answering limitation with freedom. This process allows an understanding of reality as flexible rather than concrete.
For me, creative answers to these challenges involve connection, presence, embodiment, the unconscious, slowness, community, stillness, mayhem, unpredictability, multi-facetedness, intangibility, joy: these are all components of ACTUALISATION, which is the opposite of ALIENATION.
Living in the world means that these ideals of ACTUALISATION can be sought, and glimpsed, but not held on to. One example of this is COMMUNICATION – speaking about the ideals I seek and about how they contrast with the status quo involves engaging with both poles – bringing them into confrontation with one another. Producing ART that speaks beyond myself involves engaging with society, and with the very oppressive structures I’m trying to resist.
In this way, ALIENATION becomes inherent to ART too – it’s work: it involves playing by the rules, professionalism, getting stressed, being underpaid, producing things for consumption.
For me, art is all of these things, and the space between them, at the same time. It is tension, flux, contradiction, opposition. It is, at it’s core, indefinable, un-state-able.