Artwork title : Large Bear / Ursula
The works in this series stem from a twelve-thousand year old drawing of a wounded bear in a Cave in Southern France. Through the portal this neolithic fragment creates, I explore our stunted dialogue with the non-human, collapsing separate notions of human and animal through the only shared lexicon we have - of flesh, the body, sensation. I ask what it is to exist within the confines of a body- any body, and ultimately, what it is to be part of the wider cycles of the natural world.
Through my practice and that of the cave artists, the bear goes through a process of evolution and transformation, from its original iteration as a flesh and blood creature to a drawing etched on a cave wall, to my own works; moving from two dimensional to three dimensional, from clay to charcoal to graphite, the source drawing becomes a simulacra of itself as it passes through me and my practice.
These works allow me to situate myself in them, to imagine my own body being subjected to this kind of wounding, becoming symbolic for the death which we inflict on the world daily, forcing the question of our alienation from our animal nature by bringing the bear to life and injuring it in one fell swoop.
This series attempts to collapse the immeasurable distance between the original artist and myself, attempting a form of time travel, posing a series of unanswerable questions. In the face of our complete lack of knowledge around the original drawing, a space of possibility opens up, allowing me space to embed my practice within it, to ask my own questions. In the act of making these works there is a moment where the bear moves beyond what it was to the original artist, superseding itself, becoming something new.