My Ex Vivo series was chosen to be displayed at the RBSA Gallery in February 2020 for the Next Wave exhibition. Next Wave is a biennial mentoring development programme for early-career artists based in the West Midlands. Below are some images of the exhibition:
My work Ex Vivo series exhibited at my final year Graduate show, Margaret Street, Birmingham School of Art, summer 2019.
Ex Vivo… comprises five mixed media plaster, textile, metal and acrylic sculptures, to be viewed as individual works, in a collective installation series. Ex Vivo…, (from the living)…, firstly explores the inextricable connection between mother and child. The uncontrollable textile foetal matter is constrained and controlled through the form of the plaster and its defined boundaries. The two materials merge, but neither engulfs the other, and work to support each other. The plaster forms evolve from the scientific rigid dynamic to the natural irregular ovoid that is birthed onto the floor.
The cuboid flat surfaces on metal plinths bare some resemblance to ultrasound scans and are suggestive of the minimalist vocabulary of some of the work produced by Robert Morris, Donald Judd and Carl Andre. I bridged the gap between this male orientated minimalism and the feminine maternal form with the physical contact, touch and dripping surface of the ground level pieces. This process references Janine Antoni, Gnaw 1992, and her feminine performance art adapting chocolate and lard cubes, by chewing the surface.
The works other vital element is the corporeal umbilical threads and fibres emerging and trailing from the plaster. The flesh-pink soft, tangible, tactile and vulnerable materials suggest abjection, but in a softer form, similar to those used by Eva Hesse. Her post-minimalist practice suggests the proto-feminist and fluid contours of the organic. My work uses this element to show individual emergence from the maternal, the separation and the fragmentation of the maternal bond.
The installation progresses from just above eye level, to below, and to the ground; the inner textile forms become more complex and developed with this progression. The grey plastic acrylic protects the post-partum sculptures and separates them from the immediate harsh wood flooring. The semi-transparency of the grey allows the textured floor to be slightly hidden, yet subtly links the lines from the textile matter in the centre of the plaster sculpture and reflects its corporeal nature.