MFA Art & Humanities

Veronique Wechtler-Malcolm

My work is concerned primarily with the relational - the multiple ways in which we encounter the world - and the traces that ensue. It explores alternative ways of conceiving portraiture, through sound, the moving image, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture. The prevailing themes in this exposition are those of fragility, alienation, steadfastness, survival in adversity and celebration. Having originally trained in painting and printmaking, my main focus during the MFA has been to explore sculptural form. It has been an inspiring encounter with materiality to transpose painterly consciousness to a clay surface. Working with clay is a process which yields pronounced rhythmical and sensual qualities. Clay is a paradox - a humble material in many ways - but also a material of making which is acknowledged as a primal material for creation in some religions. The geochemical mystery of the firing process is also a metaphor, both for metamorphosis and geological time. This creative process is an opportunity to experience the complex multi-sensorial materiality of clay, known to countless human generations from the dawn of civilisation. I seek to reveal the multiplicity of our “being-in-the-world” mirrored in the words of Jane Bennett: "I believe in one matter energy, the maker of things seen and unseen... that encounters with lively matter can … highlight the common materiality of all that is, expose a wider distribution of agency and reshape the self and its interests."

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