The Salon of Infectious Desires is a series of sculptural works taking a domestic chair as a starting point, but proposing an alternate reality where each chair has become an eco-system, where the upholstery colonises and spreads, where organic forms are poised at a juncture between overwhelming their host, self-regulating or dying out. The textile forms are soft, coral-like, taken from the artist’s island upbringing, and meticulously hand-sewn over altered found chairs. Small growths detach and colonise the exhibition space…perhaps the ceiling, the entryway, a corner. Nearby, a table-setting bifurcates into itself, unusable cutlery growing exponentially.
In the The Salon of Infectious Desires series an imaginary literary salon is over-run by soft textile growths: chair forms warp and stagger, mutate and support colonies, a coral reef crawls over a broken love-seat. Competing colonies vie for space, crowd each other out, compromise, adjust. In this other-world, tet-a-tetes become viral exchanges, ideas climb the wallpaper. Soft growths eat holes into upholstery. Further afield, small growths run up air-ducts, window frames, a person's collar (who leaves the space). Natural patterns are warped, the man-made crumbles under an invasive eco-system in flux. Built structures are warped, broken, reconfigured, re-imagined. ‘I see the paradigm that humans are presently living under as being unsustainable, the way we have managed over time to insulate ourselves from ‘the outside’…as if there is such a thing! There’s no ‘nature’ vs ‘us’! Until we properly understand that, we’ll continue to treat everything around us as a resource, as something which can be exploited. The world is ourselves.” In this series, the invented dichotomies are brought into collision – the chaotic, organic, changeable, exterior ‘other’ comes to bear upon the ordered, the known, the interior, the safe.
This collision also becomes personal and body-centric – the works are suggestive, sexual, lascivious, disordered, discomforting, hairy, hiding/sporting satin orifices, budlike forms or penile extrusions which over-run the wooden chair-borders. Messy bodies overwhelm their constraints. The works invoke glamour, luxury & seduction with a disconcerting smack of the uncanny.
"Glamour is the strict control of the body or the environment, sublimated to an ideal– there’s no body fluids or stains in glamour. It’s about boundaries, zones of comfort. We feel we are betrayed by our bodies- a lot of this work is about my own aging, my body, about death and disease, about fear and surrender, tightening and release."