Items I will use for my LRI residency artwork

Two folding portable screens with four panels on each, that I will either sew into or project onto.

A wheelchair that I intend to cover the seat and back with material and paint white.

One of my favourite pieces in Liverpool Tate by Mona Hatoum

Untitled (Wheelchair)  1998

Untitled (Wheelchair) is one of a series of works Hatoum has made by adapting the forms of furniture and household objects. Her adaptations generally replace parts conferring comfort and support with elements of potential torture. In one of her earliest works in this series, Incommunicado 1993 (Tate T06988), Hatoum replaced the mattress of a baby’s cot with tautly stretched cheese wires. In Untitled (Wheelchair) she has replaced the handles of a wheelchair with knife blades. She has said: ‘I see furniture as being very much about the body. It is usually about giving it support and comfort. I made a series of furniture pieces which are more hostile than comforting.’ (Quoted in Mona Hatoum 1997, p.20.) Here the wheelchair itself provides a harsh alternative to its normal counterpart, since it is entirely made of polished metal, replacing surfaces which are normally padded and soft with chill steel. The knife blades transform it into a vehicle of perverse torture which will lacerate the hands of anyone foolish enough to take a hold of it. The potential relationship of love and support, for which the wheelchair is a metaphor, has become one of abuse in which both parties are the victims. In the scenario it suggests, the person who needs care and who is dependent on another in order to move is forced to injure the person who helps him.

Hatoum has used the Minimalist structure of the grid in sculptural and installation works as a metaphor for the social and political structures we are all dependent upon. Cold, bare and hard-edged, they reflect the themes of displacement, dispossession and anxiety which stem from the artist’s experience of living, first in Lebanon (as a child of Palestinian parents) and then in Britain (as a young woman), as a racial and cultural exile. The formal beauty of her works, together with elements bringing warmth, light and containment, operate in opposition to structures which suggest fences, cages and racks and speak of cruelty and isolation. The body, either overt in the artist’s performance and video works of the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s, or implicit in her later pieces, is frequently placed in a situation of separation and alienation from what it needs in order to survive. Her works reproduce ‘the feeling of not being able to take anything for granted, even doubting the solidity of the ground you walk on … you feel as if the ground is shifting under your feet’ (Hatoum quoted in Mona Hatoum 1997, p.134).

http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?workid=26504&tabview=text accessed 27.03.2011

 

Grater Divide by Mona Hatoum, 2002.

While I was looking for the image of the wheelchair I cam across this by the same artist which I hadn’t seen before.

Shape Sorter

 

Garden Party

Statement of Work

Balance is not a static place. Balance lives somewhere between falling and recovering. My aim is to capture, through metaphor, the between moments; transitions from innocence to awareness and psychological or emotional brinks from which there is no return.

I make figurative sculptures that are reminiscent of dolls. They are personifications of internal struggles that define the human condition. I draw upon my background as a dancer and actor to animate the body in ways that reveal the subtext of the figures. My inspiration comes from my own experiences and those of people I know. Each work begins with a personal association and then expands to address a more universal theme often having to do with fantasies relating to power, sexual awakening, repressed anger and violence, and feelings of loss and mortality. My figures often appear to be at once infantile and aging both disconnected and active. They are struggling to make sense of the world and the conflicting messages found within it.

Each sculpture is sewn and assembled using a combination of natural and synthetic materials such as leather, latex, dried fruit, bones, human hair, fur and pantyhose. Stylistically my work aims to balance the empathetic quality of a handmade object with the surreal aesthetic of theatre and animation.

http://melissaichiuji.com/statement-of-work.php accessed 27.03.2011

I am considering sculpting the figure of an old woman out of the same material I use for the folding screens and putting the figure into the wheelchair.

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