Becoming un-becoming; an exploration of the merging of body and earth.
Thin place made thick - a meeting-place - the in-between
In burial, the body returns to the earth from which it came; dust unto dust. That which bears, holds and carries us is also that which buries us; that from which we emerge is that within which we are assimilated.
Simpson’s practice is an exploration into this ephemerality of being and the urge to draw ever closer to – to sink into, to bury into, to hold - the earth. This yearning to be held and embraced by the earth emanates from a personal desire to feel closer to the earth within which her late father is buried, dismantling the stark separation of death from life.
Through looking at the human body within liminal landscapes, wherein water cedes to land and land cedes to water, Simpson explores this blurring of physical boundaries, challenging oppositions of body and earth, and life and death. Instead, comfort is found in the collapse of margins and in surrendering to softened and dissipated borders.
Her main body of work consists primarily of ceramics and printmaking. Working with clay, a primitive, tactile substance, allows an increased intimacy with the earth. Simpson’s lithography prints, consisting of fluid marks created from her own body, are printed onto fabric and hung within a wooden structure. Intuitively responding to the weight and flow of these materials, she allows for collapse within physical form, aiming to create a sense of becoming un-becoming.
Overview Of Space
The vessels were created through allowing collapse of hand-built forms, working with the unpredictable undulations and natural crevices. Subtly echoing human lines and folds, their forms are soft, solidity dissolving. The lithography prints are a fluid-embrace; languid, watery forms on hung fabric. They speak of surrender, letting go, giving in to being held and ceding to sleep. Created from the artist’s body pressed against lithography plates, the marks are both figural and watery; edges bleeding and coming undone.
Various Views Of 'Collapse'
Vessels: formed for the transference, exchange, emptying and refilling of matter. Made to hold, but also to be held.
The glazing process of these vessels reflects this urge to hold, carry and contain. Subtle outlines of hands and fingers leave traces of human touch; gentle, yet permanent, imprints of a momentary gesture. The artist’s body thus both present and absent in this body of work.
The Vessels Of 'To Hold'
Throwing ceramic vessels requires an intimate tension, a closeness to the clay yet also an awareness of its susceptibility to collapse. This relationship between clay and body is thus one of push and pull, ebb and flow, strength and fragility.
'Refuge', 'Unfurled', and 'The Interlude'
This triptych of photolithography prints features bodies embedded in Tentsmuir’s saltwater marshes. Due to the tidal nature of the saltwater marsh, boundaries between land and water become blurred and margins muted, softened. The body sinks into this ever-changing environment, seeking comfort in the ebbs and flows. An abject, in-between existence in a liminal landscape.
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