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Evolving the empty vessel / 29 June 2014


'I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.'
This quote from Malcolm Gladwell highlights a persistent contradiction in me that isn't at all helpful for my artist when it comes to exhibiting, publishing or otherwise putting my stuff into the public domain. I write, I make the stuff that gets under my skin. I grab words that nudge at my consciousness and peer minutely at them. They may not be the whole story, but hand-lettered or laid out in a carefully chosen font, hung on a wall or placed on display, they become fixed tethers that immediately seek to limit the fluidity of my evolution.
The Soft Sculpture project weaving through aspects of my life, and the longings of my heart, over these last almost six years, attempts to keep itself up to date with my contradictions. For 'People Like You', Jessie (a prone soft sculpture figure) was gathered in from the earlier 'Bare Boards and Blue Stilettos' installation, when I belatedly realised she was actually part of the Soft Sculpture project. 
The fact that it spans an evolution in my being and thinking, does mean it gets easier to exhibit. I have seen the work make its own connections, take flight in other directions allowing me greater scope to evolve. I don't feel so boxed in.
The latest edition to the collection of life-size figures is in fact no longer recognisable as a figure. Kouros began the cycle, a complete male figure, missing only his arms and hands; Kosta evolved into a similar figure, but his legs had morphed into roots and roots also sprouted from his body.
Fons retained only the head on a torso of tangled roots. The latest figure is an empty vessel formed of the coiled roots and in the process of being shaped by seven diminishing hands, it comes with a neat white card containing details of its family classification.
From an idea I was barely conscious of, to something that dominated my attention, this structure was as demanding as any of the previous figures.
It has now left home. Wednesday 2nd July it makes it's debut at Salisbury Arts Centre at the annual Homegrown exhibition preview.

Today has that shocking
kick in the gut pain of missing
you. A bewilderment
that no amount of logic
can drive away from the
evolution of me; the new
person who grows into
the spaces you left behind;
spaces that reveal themselves
with a brutality that is both
heartbreaking and familiar;
emotional turmoil that is
integral to the new life in ways
inconceivable to
the person I used to be.

Salisbury Arts Centre: Homegrown: Artificial Things from 3rd July -  17th August 2014
Salisbury Arts Centre is open Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 3pm (subject to closure during performances). 
For more information please click on this link