One Of Us

One Of Us (2019)

Something about the comforting simplicity of belonging to a group (literally of artists in a group show; metaphorically of any tribe). Adherence to group conventions enables insiders to know outsiders. Group boundaries are conflict areas, where identities are fragile and keenly defended. This ‘sculptural’ work subverts gallery conventions of external and all-round viewpoints, ultimately collapsing traditional steel, plastic and fabric to something like a two-dimensional drawing. The digital image will persist but the physical form will last less than a week. The point being to gently highlight the contingency of categories (e.g. physical/digital, sculpture/drawing, art/design, artist/…). They provide insiders with a simplifying grid for locating themselves within an infinitely nuanced subjective world.

It links to wider hypotheses that locating and owning one’s identity is challenging in a world of increasingly revealed complexity; that simplifying groups, myths and ideologies are psychologically necessary, perhaps increasingly so; that the noisier the world becomes, the more people will close their ears (e.g. compassion fatigue, nationalism).

The construction of some safe space, some home in which to shelter from the noise, some tribe for mutual validation, meaning, protection… it can all be real if you choose to believe.