I Wonder . 2018
This work may contain cast glycerin soap, fragrance oil, food colouring, acrylic inks, seeds, plastic beads, glitter, charcoal, sand, rocks, aqua beads, fur, seaweed, moss, found bits and pieces. It is displayed using found objects, glass, led light, a cell phone.
In this work, I wonder, the viewer is invited to wonder (verb: ‘I wonder what’s in here’) and to wonder (noun: a sense of awe and delight).
Searching is an intrinsic component of the human condition, a key ingredient in our primal wiring. We all search for meaning, purpose, hope, happiness, belonging and identity. When we find that ‘thing’ that is important and valuable to us, a spark is ignited and vitality comes into our lives again. In this work the participant is invited to wonder (verb: ‘I wonder what’s in here’) and to wonder (noun: a sense of awe and delight).
I Wonder removes separation between creator and onlooker by creating something experiential. The viewer is invited to immerse themselves in the art and partake of the creative process, turning the work into an act of collaboration.
The viewer is invited to explore a ‘hide and seek’ setting, with cupboards and drawers to open and cloches to lift, to have a closer look, smell, hear, or feel. Whereby igniting a buried or muffled sense of curiosity. Uncanny objects/sculptures made from cast and altered soap are revealed as well as a sense of surprise, intrigue or repulsion in the viewer. The cast glycerine soap is de-constructed, re-assembled and re-contextualized to create something new and curious. Texture, light and scent are added to the sculptures to wake up the senses. Moss, fur and wool act as an interface between two shapes or surfaces.
The process of making these objects from soap is a discovery in itself. There is very little history of making art with soap. This thrills me; it brings back my love of discovery, exploration, play, experimentation and success through failure, which I hope to ignite in the viewer.
By taking extra care in displaying the work, the objects are made precious. White is the symbol of purity and brilliance, glass is protection, light makes the soap look like jewels, and fur or velvet brings the feeling of opulence. This kind of value adding prompts the viewer to ask ‘what makes this item precious/beautiful/interesting/repulsive to me?’
I offer Chindogu-style, sense-enhancing tools for the viewer to experience more fully their discoveries. The purpose of the tools is elusive. They may be reminiscent of a magnifying glass, a scent enhancer, a fork or a hearing aid. The participants are compelled to decide the purpose of these tools, encouraging creativity and opportunity to explore their own response to the objects.
This work is meant to help people tap back into the thrill of unexpected discovery, resulting in stirrings of joy and motivation.