Do you feel the issues you raise in your work are relevant today?
Absolutely. In the wake of such political extremism, racial injustice, gender equality, and historical cases of abuse, I feel that it is vitally important for art to comment upon such issues. As an individual, I am often placed into many categories such as being young, female, and black. All of these categories have their own delimiters and clichéd stereotypes. So it is useful for me to reflect upon these restrictions within my work and communicate that unique perspective.
Can you tell us a bit more about your latest work?
I feel that Untitled was my first artistic success. For the first time, I significantly moving away from my painting and drawing roots, and actively took steps towards more sculptural methods of portraiture that differed from more traditional busts and carvings. Untitled was primarily a backlash against institutional restrictions that were placed upon my practice during the final years of my degree. Here I was suffering an internal struggle and split in my educational demands verses my motivations and interests as an artist. I felt that it was important for me to speak my own truth. I wanted to scrutinise the fragile balance of power that exists between galleries and artists who seek to modify long- standing institutional narratives. I also wanted to reference the ideological positioning of the black- artist as an outsider.
I have grown up in a culture where art is increasingly being pushed to its outer limits due to digital technologies. I consider myself to be a sculptor from a new generation of artists who increasingly use such technology as a sculptural tool. I used prosthetic and VFX materials and 3D printing to create the replicas that are symbolic of reality but reminiscent of the virtual world. These pieces demonstrate the flux between the original handmade and the artificial copy.
By multiplying human body parts such as faces, hands, and feet, I wanted to create a sort of hybrid realism where normative bodily functions are seen as almost grotesque. The resulting look evokes a morbid curiosity that surrounds the sculpture that questions traditional self-representational practices.