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Clare Holdstock

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In my works I transform abject, unglamorous objects. Abject comes from the Latin ‘ab’ ‘jecere’ or ‘to throw’ ‘away’. Waste packaging, mass-produced municipal fencing, or decaying architecture have been my recent subject matter. Giving precedence to the otherwise rejected subverts or calls into question conventional value systems.

Moments of encounter with the discarded, the dilapidated, the incidental or inconsequential can be powerful, meaningful and profound. I am interested in the way in which the concepts of weight, time and transience are carried through objects. The cracked layers of years of paint peel from a fence as it is buffered by wind and rain or eroded by the touch of hands. Chemicals and minerals shapeshift through processes to become lightweight, disposable packaging. We barely consider such objects but their lifespans are long and complex.

My social background as a working class artist from a deprived, ex-fishing town led to my affinity with the overlooked. Rather than pity such discounted things, they act as drivers in my practice as I attempt to elevate their status. I carefully and sensitively reconfigure their form or materiality in order to draw attention to their pulsing vibrance and brilliance.

Labour process, chains of production and the deterritorialised object are important strands within the web of my thinking. To counter these facets of the conventional system of objects, I propose a reparative re-thinking of the status-quo of human relationships to things. My works state-change the materiality and form of commodity objects with a light, joyful alchemy.

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