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Inside Out: Division

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I have started making new pieces in a similar vein to Hidden Marriage addressing our peculiar tendency to view man-made as unnatural. It's a bit like saying that the castes worms make in the soil are artificial. Man-made is, after all, a subset of rather than a separate category from nature-made. I feel an abhorrence for plastic things in an otherwise pristine setting, but it is an aesthetic snobbery not a mystic, universal-truth-derived sense of wrongness.

If you go down to the woods today.

So I have obtained (from a trip to a car boot sale with my sister) human-crafted simulacra of forest-dwellers, i.e., kitschy figurines of deer and frogs. The raw material of the figurines is presumably natural (clay), and now I am housing them in fabric shapes made from yarn of varying degrees of naturalness (acrylic-wool blends). Into these shapes will go fungi again, a truly natural phenomenon of growth but placed in a fabricated environment. What am I trying to say? Well, I think the underlying motif is my unhappiness with dividing lines, they can't help but be adversarial. Natural versus man-made. Growth versus fabrication. Chance versus intent. Artist versus scientist. (Fight!) I want to paint that line between natural and 'unnatural' as many times as I can in the same spot and see if I get dizzy.

 

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Natalie Andrew is Inside Out: Artist in Residence for September 2013.

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