Expectations and role in life

‘Broken Bones’, a project supported by Theo Moorman Trust.

In 2017, as a response to the way textiles are commonly understood as functional objects and the way my work in textiles is often received, I set out to re-assess my woven sculptural work X-Ray series; to question the role of textiles through experimenting with the materiality and visual transformation of the structure.

I defamiliarise the original woven form with plaster to explore function and expectations we hold for objects and people. The process has its origins in my experience of having broken bones as a small child, and the expectations and limitations that I experienced through protection from my family. Plaster carries meanings of broken bones, hospitals, healing and care; and I am interested in the contradiction of care and protection that then subsequently brings on expectations and limitations at the same time. It is that awkward side effect of any action and choice made has its advantage and disadvantage. I feel as a child, although I was understandably protected from further accidents I somewhat became a limited version of me in the physical sense not trusting my body to do well in sports. At the same time, I feel there was a need to try to break free from expectations and limitations. Therefore there is this constant shift of power between the outer and inner influence.

Throughout working on this project, there is a constant unfolding of the processes that are brought on by reaction to my findings. I closely observe all particles through dissection and reaction, I seal and free the structure while continually relating it back to my own experiences. My processes include breaking some plaster off the structure to produce fragments from the surface. These carry the imprint of the original woven arrangement; like the traces of my memory. These are significant in this body of work making the viewer think of precious artefacts telling about personal stories or details at excavation sites.

I was awarded the Theo Moorman Trust Award 2018 to realise the project.