Fourth Year Awards Submission 

Our entire lives are mediated by the objects around us; the ones in the home being the ones we form the closest relationships with and spend the most time amongst. I am interested in investigating the interactions between humans and objects in the home, questioning their dynamics, and exploring them via sculpture and installation. I strive to recognize and emphasize the value of these human-object relationships while simultaneously examining the consequences of such communions. As we participate in increasingly intense object-oriented interactions, it becomes pertinent to thoughtfully analyze the altered relationships within the space of the home.

My main questions revolve around how I can encourage acts of care and acknowledgment towards the relationships we have with the people and the objects we share our homes with. I want the hidden moments of the home to be reconsidered; for seemingly unimportant instances to be frozen and reassessed. Paying special attention to the first house, the house we grow up in, is important to my practice as it is one of the most formative, familial spaces we experience. It is where we are gently bombarded with the actions of our relatives, where we fall heir to their habits, their rituals, and their possessions.  

There is intentional agency in disfunction. Sometimes you can’t see something for what it’s truly worth until you see it at rest; static, motionless. An object entombed is an object of value. Through subtle decontextualization and curious tension, I create these moments of stasis to emphasize the value of the everyday objects in our homes, the ones that have shaped us and continue to motivate our behaviour. I want to address and explore the complicated intimacy we have with the objects in our homes and examine the lives these objects have because of us, and beyond us. If you take the time to re-evaluate, you may get a glimpse of the weight of these moments; of the beauty and the power in the unremarkable.

Pelvic Gifts, 2019

20" x 15" x 5"

Wire rack, plaster, artist’s mother’s jewelry

Gut Feelings, 2019

8" x 7" x 4"

Wire rack, plaster, artist’s mother’s jewelry

My studio practice consists of intuitive methods of making. I want to show evidence of my hand, while letting the materials speak for themselves. My work involves using ambiguous household objects as frames for other things, both found and made. 

I Keep My Plastic Bags Under the Kitchen Sink, 2019

20" x 12" x 7"

Wire rack, tea towels, plastic bag, plaster

Cage for Fruits and Other Affections, 2019

40" x 15" x 5"

Utility cart, plastic bag, kitty litter

A Complicated Intimacy,  2020

4' 8" x 14" x 10"

Standing lamp, towel, plaster

I try to capture the human gestures that hide in inanimate things. Not necessarily physical anthropomorphized movements, but the invisible gestures that live in the object’s experience; like the way it was touched by a person I love. I think about how much my mother’s jewelry means to me. I think about my childhood home. I think about how almost all of the things I find myself doing in my current apartment are inherited from my father’s fixation on a safe, comfortable place to live. Our entire being is rooted in the first home we live in. It follows us throughout the rest of our lives, its influence shaping our actions in all of the homes we live in afterwards. 

Images taken by Mike Gontmakher

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