I have begun to experiment with ’embracing figures’, in which I create little clay people, and then ‘squishing’ them into one form. It’s an attempt to capture that moment when two people become one, during an embrace. Despite the obvious sexual connotations this has, it is not directly a sexual thing. I prefer it to reference a moment of pure comfort, or understanding, with someone or something. It’s much like Adam and Eve before they ate the forbidden fruit, and were happy just relaxing with one another, in utter comfort.
As I observed the statues that I had already made, I realised something; They were either ‘reaching out for an embrace’ or ’embracing themselves’, which was fascinating. They themselves are lonely beings, referencing the need by humanity for intimate moments with another, and this resonates within me an awful lot. This one, especially, became one with himself, is there a deeper meaning here? if someone does not find the attention from another, do they become one with themselves to the point of becoming consumed? It’s interesting, to say the least.
My favourite of the three ’embrace sculptures’, this piece is fascinating. At first it is a mess of flesh, of embracing, but then you realise that it is actually two bodies, entwined between comfort and fear. they cling to one another so tightly, that they become one, and this causes a paradoxical sense of calmness to wash over the form. I do really need to experiment with this idea a lot more, it’s one that I intend to follow up.
I then decided to take a break from the clay, as I tend to get too caught up in it, and I feel that my ideas flourish far better when I take a break away to recollect my thoughts. So, I started a painting. It’s one of a man and woman holding one another whilst they sleep. Of course, as it was only a quick painting, it’s heavily expressive and not realistic. Again, the heart is the focus in the painting, as it always is. There’s a warmth to it, which I like.
Then, I decided to do something a bit crazy, and utilise a ‘careful dabbing’ technique to paint a painting. This piece, was the result, and I find it beautiful. The piece seems to create a sense of transcendence, which reminds me of a piece I saw in the Bienalle, which consisted of a jet engine that had been atomised, and reduced to dust. It was as if the physical object, whilst in the act of becoming dust, transcended the barrier between the corporeal and spiritual worlds. It’s as if they have achieved enlightenment through it.
Harking back to my fascinations with Francis Bacon, another body of work came out of the experimentation; expressive, fleshy forms. I attempted to capture that aspect of embracing, in a way that accurately portrays the act of two bodies becoming one. I will try it more, and obsess over this for a while, in order to fully grasp it.