My studio practice investigates the unique relationship between clay and cloth. This relationship exists on many levels, from the physical properties of the materials to the resonances implicit their language. When combined, the slabs of clay and sheets of cloth form a reciprocal relationship, one material wholly reliant on the other to create form. The work appears to move backwards and forwards between cloth and clay as armature, the clay supporting the cloth skin or the cloth armature containing the clay body.
Usually, the clay is unfired and installed wet, fixing the installation in time and place. The enormous weight conveys a disconcerting presence; however, the feeling of presence is disrupted by an inherent fragility. The clay will dry and can only maintain its current form if left undisturbed. Subsequently the work oscillates between stability and fragility and the viewer is left moving backwards and forwards between the present and the absent, a physical object and the memory of its time and place.
The cloth I uses is rooted in the home and a female past. Consequently, the cloth redefines the clay within a domestic context and the clay adds a physical weight to the cloth, revealing an emotional quality that speaks of everyday experience. Similarly the repetitive processes of stacking, folding and lifting, evident in the work convey an enormous physical effort suggestive of daily household chores and mundane domestic labors. These activities imply a backwards and forwards motion, as the tasks repeat themselves over and over. The stains left on the cloth by the clay body beneath compound this pattern. The cloth will never be clean, rendering the work futile and the laborer to an endless cycle of movement, "forward, then backward, then forward, then backward, over and over again".