Cardboard Self, Number Two, 2023

Portrait H 146cm W 50cm D 48cm,

Plinth H 80cm W 40cm D 40cm.

Inspired by my disability, nerve pain, cancer, dyslexia, and my questioning of art/history. Making work in a world of increasing climate change, fragmenting economies, the pervasive chatter of social media and the question of AI and creativity, whilst trying to find a place in contemporary art and portrait sculpture is challenging. When making this portrait sculpture I also wanted to challenge myself, to risk making what so many people may find absurd. It’s full of contradictions and I think it lacks a sense of sculptural balance or harmony, but that’s OK, it feels more real to me.

When we think of cardboard we think of right angles and straight lines. The face and the human body have very few straight lines, this has always been the challenge for me, the idea that simple template shapes and lines can be transformed by taking them off the page to become three dimensional forms.

There is always so much more going on below the surface. If you look closely into the back of the sculpture, you will find a tiny jigsaw piece hanging just out of reach. It’s a smaller version of the piece missing from the main structure. The self-portrait contains another smaller self-portrait reaching for that ever so slightly out of reach final piece of the puzzle.

There is an explosion of sorts, with a flame filled thought bubble developing from the top of the sculpture. I have written many of my ideas, responses, and feelings into the thought bubble of this sculpture.

The plinth is recycled from its previous life in an old shop window, made to display things in landscape mode. Unexpectedly it was open at the back, and the rest is history….