The work is a playful investigation into how to connect to the body, using materials as interface. I am neurodivergent – I have ADHD – and my practice is the development of a sensory language to connect with myself and others. In relationship with materials, I slow down. I watch them closely: how they move, how they feel, how they sound. I treat them as another body to relate to. I choose materials out of desire; following desire is fundamental in play. They are usually everyday materials that are responsive to the body in terms of touch, sound, sensation: ducting / foam / ping pong balls, etc.
The work is often a result of finding a moment in which the material does something that surprises me. I then focus in on this and through repetition / sculpture / zooming in on it, I amplify it to show it to others. The work is about me – my learning to connect through materials and my psychological projections onto materials.
With the wearable sculptures, I look at how my body merges with materials, how together they can become a fleeting third body, and then separate again. The wearables can be grounding tools, telling my body where it is in space, and they are also shields. The tension between isolation and connection is at the core of the work. It is important to connect with ourselves and others, and at the same time very difficult. As well as serious, the work has a lot of humour / joy in it. The idea of failing to connect is held gently. Acknowledging the difficulty of connection can be connecting.
Alongside my studio practice, I facilitate sensory art with hospitals and in communities, e.g. this summer I am working with Hart Club, Great Ormond St. Hospital, Polka Theatre. The idea of play as learning is fundamental to my practice. Joanna Grace’s sensory work for individuals with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities is a big influence. Hans-Georg Gadamer’s analysis of play is relevant, as are Franco Berardi’s theories on new systems. Current artist influences include Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Yvonne Rainer. My research is an investigation into structures that facilitate embodied play, comparing and contrasting practices in art facilitation and performance.