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The lasting objective of my work is to the challenge the viewer to question the absolute nature of art, through the simple act of observing art. 

 

Who decides what is or isn’t art? What is the value scale attached to art? Can art be utterly meaningless and retain its status as ‘art’? What does ‘art’ embody that is missing or absent from ‘craft’? How does an object become art? 

 

Using a visual commentary, which is designed to be non-judgemental but at the same time deliberately provocative, I give the viewer no choice but to examine their preconceptions, prejudices and assumptions. 

 

‘This is not a floor’ (with it’s clear Magritte reference) (image available) is flooring on the floor which I have ‘elevated’ to art by simply stating that it is not a floor. What is this floor-like structure then? If it’s not a floor, and it’s in a gallery, we can make a fair assumption that it is art. But the only marker of it being ‘art’ and not a floor is it’s title. 

 

Is it that simple to make an object become art? We have Duchamp to thank for this.

 

An earlier work entitled ‘Art Without Meaning Is Just Decoration’ took the form of a piece of wallpaper hanging as if ready to be pasted to a wall (image available). A Pollock print was used as the pattern for the wallpaper which was then displayed as if wallpaper, but in a gallery.  The journey was from Fine Art (the original Pollock painting) to decoration (once it had been printed onto wallpaper) and back to Fine Art (allegedly) when displayed, even very clearly as wallpaper, in a gallery setting. 

 

‘One of these oranges is not like the other orange’ - two oranges side by side each on top of their own plinth. They appear identical, but on reading the information, the viewer discovers that one of the oranges was taken from ‘Soul City’ by Roelof Louw, (a work consisting of a large pyramid of oranges which through inviting each viewer to take one away, and then replenishing the pyramid overnight, discretely raises issues of decay and regrowth.) 

The orange on the adjacent plinth was bought at Tesco. 

They appear the same. But on learning more, the viewer will have a sense that one of the oranges has an innate and inherent ‘artiness’ having been in an exhibit at Tate Britain, which is lacking in the one bought in a supermarket. The essence of art is challenged. In this case, it’s not even what you see, it’s what you know.  

 

‘Label’ is a gallery label displayed as art with an identical copy of itself being its label. One is clearly displayed as art, the other giving every impression of being simply a gallery standard descriptor. But they are identical.  

 

‘My Father’s Knitted Chessboard’ is the result of my father’s inquisitive mind asking if it ‘counted’ as art. I sent an image of it to contemporary galleries and art academics around the world with my father’s question attached ‘is this art?’  The responses covered everything on the spectrum from ‘no, as he’s not an artist (!) to ‘yes, as the concept of ‘art’ now has such a wide definition.' 

 

To ensure that I could say yes to my father’s question, I exhibited it as one of my final MA show pieces. Its presence in that gallery guaranteeing its status as art.  The only remaining question being, whose? 

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