I feel like I have become more of a writer than an artist of late. When I am asked what I do, I find myself hovering over the word artist, but quickly adding, “… actually I’m a writer also.” I think a new word needs to be invented, as most artists are also writers, poets, musicians. So, which one do you say first?
After my interview with New York artist (and poet) Samuel Jablon – who explained to me that he was not a poet in a separate right, but that his poetry was intertwined with his painting – I have thought more and more about what my practice has become, and how to define it.
I was recently in Venice for the Biennale and walked by the Hong Kong pavilion presenting work by Lee Kit, entitled ‘You, (you)’. His work is described as ‘Installations that combine different objects, images and mediums to form sparse yet intimate settings that suggest traces of immaterialised relationships.’
To me, the exhibit represented exactly these feelings. However, in contrast to the evoked metaphors (and maybe coinciding with the break from the rat race of London), it made me stop and appreciate those simple objects and that simple space that we fail to notice as we rush to work crammed like sardines on a busy tube. Lee Kit presented this satisfying environment, which created a feeling of appreciating what is present and how to use what is readily available.
This is the direction my work is taking, appropriating an object or a space which appears so ‘every day’ or so unremarkable. The first development was when I created my matchbox publication earlier this year. It is a tiny hand-bound publication to fit inside a matchbox, which I have left unaltered and in its original design and form. The contents of the publication are all from found objects, documents and, in keeping with my practice, there is even a miniature piece of fiction on one of the pages. Many of my collage or prints are in the same realm of appropriating what are found pieces of information or imagery, which I don’t like to alter too noticeably.
Carrying on using print as a predominant medium, in addition I am starting to incorporate larger everyday objects and tools such as furniture. In effect, I am using these ordinary objects to evoke a consideration for their purpose and existence. As I touched upon previously, we so often bypass these in the madness and mayhem of existing as human beings in large and chaotic cities.
When I talk about incorporating larger objects like furniture, I have yet to play around with the idea of building something. However, my inspiration to develop this notion derives from working in a public domain, and observing how people interact and use or abuse the space. Little observations such as where a lighter is abandoned or the method people acquire to avoid using a bin, by folding very neatly their tobacco packets and tucking them into the slats of tables.
This, so far, is my inspiration and thought pattern for the year to come. I will be advertising the sale of my matchbox publication shortly. If you would like any more information or to enquire about purchasing one, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article & page spreads by Sophia Moseley