Arts Based Masters Show
Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University
GRAVIDUS is a series of work instigated during my recent pregnancy whilst completing an MA and subsequently exhibited in a group show of graduating students at the School of Art in Birmingham. Inspired by the mould-making process, these works indirectly reference the changing bodily state during pregnancy.
The focus on process and manufacture plays a significant role in both the production of the work and its inherent meaning. Moulds contain both positive and negative forms within a singular, symbiotic unit; as objects of function, they are often overlooked and discarded during the casting process.
In GRAVIDUS I and II, the ‘mould’ captures the action of making within its internal space; whilst its large, solid outer form becomes an almost defensive structure. As my pregnancy progressed, the work changed in proportion, scale and use of material so that it referenced rather than simply depicted a stage in the mould-making process. By removing them from a purely functional role, the ‘mould’ is now elevated to the status of the casts they would once create. Utilising plaster and concrete as the main sculptural materials and wood and steel for the work’s display reflected their traditional and continuous usage within construction, architecture and sculpture due to their physical properties of solidity and resilience. In GRAVIDUS, this timeless approach to materials symbolises the universality of pregnancy, whilst their strength reflects my personal feelings surrounding the relationship between female artists and the changing roles they come to inhabit.