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In recent years I’ve become increasingly resistant to the assumption that an artist must exhibit resolved work to an audience. I am not motivated by the desire to create “resolved” work, more by the desire to utilise the creative process as a means to consciously and playfully engage with the world. My work is intentionally experimental and increasingly impermanent, articulated through installations and assemblages that come together into configurations that exist only for a short period of time, and often not publicly.

I find myself pulling away from opportunities to publicly exhibit or even share work on social media. I’m uncomfortable with the idea that as an artist I should attempt to disseminate my work en masse or grow my reputation and influence to audiences. I find this logic too closely aligned with imperialist and capitalist thinking and feel it risks leading me toward increasingly extractive and exploitative ways of being in the world.

Not that I entirely reject the notion of exhibiting publicly; there is value in that means of social engagement, and I still crave meaningful connection. I don’t want my art practice to be a one-way transmission. I practice art to better know the world and to actively participate (aka belong) in it. I’m drawn to the scale and intimacy of domestic life, preferring the companionship of plants to groups of people. I want to get to know other material presences too - and not necessarily “living”. For example, geological formations come to mind as something I might find I share things in common.  This is the (perhaps odd) motivation that underpins my practice. Difficult to articulate, easily misunderstood. 

My desire to engage with various living and non living presences and exhibit less frequently may be seen as solitary or introverted work, but I see it as a rich and legitimate way to commune and engage with the world, in a necessarily less human-centred way. I consider these one-to-one connections a means to engage with the world more intimately, as well as more reciprocally and sustainably. Philosophically my approach aligns with posthumanist thinking. My installations and assemblages are autobiographical expressions of myself as the posthuman subject described by Rosi Braidotti: as a “complex assemblage that undoes the boundaries between inside and outside the self, by emphasising processes and flows”1

For some reason it feels appropriate to try to revel in my own impermanence. Perhaps it is because we are living in the Anthropocene? It no longer makes sense to me to create “permanent” things. Yet still my desire to engage with, to touch, to experience the world in a visceral, material way persists and is perhaps more persistent, given how much more society seems to engage with the world in virtual and less physically tangible ways.

This desire plays out in my motivation to no longer create “new” objects, yet to relate more fully to the physical objects already in my possession, or already of my creation. I also have a persistent desire to gradually dispense of these objects as I get older. This desire to diminish, to reduce what I have and what I am, runs counterintuitively to my desire to be creatively generative, which is equally strong. This relates back to my understanding of myself from a posthuman lens: I understand myself as an assemblage of processes, sometimes opposing forces, such as my competing desires to expand and to contract. Working with installations and assemblages encapsulates the complexity of my lived experience: they are generative and somehow bigger than the sum of their parts yet nothing new is made from them, materially speaking. The objects and projected imagery are arranged and layered to inhabit space differently, to engage with each other in different ways. Working in this way as an artist is almost curatorial: my assertion is that the space between things and the relationships they form with each other is as significant as the individual objects themselves. 

1 Rosi Braidotti, Posthuman Knowledge (S.L .: STernberg Press, 2022), 45-6.

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