ARTISTIC INSIGHT – ZOE WHEELER
Flexible PVC is a plastic that appears to be sterile, yet it’s malleability and synthetic colouring with magical qualities of a light active edge entices participants to want to touch and form a relationship with its form. It’s ability to transform into an object that contradicts its industrial conception demonstrates its significance as a material simply as itself. The plastic itself has its own pre-existing purposes, however through a variety of processes the practice tests how reusing or repurposing of this material can affect the way in which participants experience these forms.
The work hopes to subvert the visitor’s expectations of plastic materiality by alluring them to want to touch its textures and feel comforted by its forms. Through the consideration of the ways in which intimacy is successfully promoted with the theory of proxemics, consideration of how a space is constructed is essential to the practice. The way that the space is constructed alters how visitors may choose to interact with the forms. The consideration of sensory participation is evident within the work, it considers how touch, scent and smell can influence feelings of safety and nostalgia for the participant and hence the development of an empathetic bond between the participant and plastic form.
Although the plastic is synthetic and non-biodegradable the materials have reusable qualities as they have been regenerating and growing into new forms over 18 months. Through the juxtaposition between life, movement, and the use of synthetic industrial materials, the contrast between the act of reusing the materials seems to shed light on the possibilities of progression in the ways that people choose to interact with materials in a more ecological consideration of nature and entropy.
The relationship between the digital and physical is essential to the practice as it considers how advancing technology impacts upon the forms and bodies that humans interact with and vice versa. I am currently working on progressing my skills in digital technology, in coding and constructing LED light sculptures, to create forms that integrates advancing technology with the physical world.
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