Institution Series

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These pieces are concerned with the evolution of identity, expressed through the stamping of marks on the pieces of clay. The clay was malleable before it was fired and was stamped in that state; similarly, individuals’ characters are formed when they are young. Now the clay is hard and no longer malleable; when individuals become adults they are less impressionable. The past softness of the clay is echoed by the current softness of the surrounding fabric. All colour is in the fabric and the natural colour of the clay serves only to increase the quality of coldness and hardness juxtaposed by the softness of the fabric.

Each piece of fired clay is a microcosm of the finished piece mounted within its frame. The viewer is encouraged to view the piece as a whole but the detail of each piece of clay draws one unmistakably to the fact that each clay bit is individual. When humans are viewed en mass, we are unavoidably objectified, especially when viewed as numbers in statistics. This objectification is worrying as it can make people forget that in all these numbers are actually individual humans.

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