Chaos is disorder, which I experience by being aware of not only what’s going on outside my window, but in the larger world. Climate change, natural disasters, forced migrations, a pandemic. I could go on, of course, the list is long, but my point is that we can be sensitive to the upheaval, both natural and manmade, that occurs in contemporary life, or we can try to ignore it. I feel that as an artist (and as a human being), I have to take it in, to the extent that I can, and allow it to inform my work, and that will happen in ways that are not immediately obvious. All creation stories begin with chaos.
The abundance of contemporary life I refer to is the flip side of all that. It’s the experience of everything we bring to bear to make order out of disorder. While we are making solar panels and wind turbines to fight climate change, vaccines to fight the pandemic, we also make music, dance, and art as another way of finding meaning, purpose, and even beauty in life. My sculpture reflects this tension between chaos, disorder and the need to create order and meaning.
I’ve always been fascinated by plastics. As a child, I thought they seemed to be from another world. The strange textures, the unnatural colours, and the endless shapes and uses. Now we are drowning in them. When I use them in my sculpture, I am taking an everyday object—a plastic chair or a toy—and juxtaposing it with other elements in a way that robs it of its usual definition. The transformation is in taking a recognisable utilitarian object and rendering it “useless” in the context of the sculpture, while at the same time making it possible for the viewer to see it in a radically different way. My own method of recycling.