Selby, domesticity is a prevalent theme throughout your exhibition. What is it that drew you to create work around this particular area of life and how have your own experiences of domesticity influenced your art career so far?
I’ve always been interested in the concept of home and safety and what that means to myself as an artist and also to the viewer. I have a strong sentimentality to objects and how different objects make me feel, often feeling sorry for objects or wanting to protect or care for them. I think there's a longing of wanting to create a level of safety and comfort in my work that I try to embody through the soft textures and textiles within my practice. I’ve always also been interested in the mundane, I think this links back to wanting to care for things that don’t have a loud voice. I have a strong interest in ‘protecting’ things that could be forgotten. My work is often really time consuming also so I think the time I spend with each piece really helps add that element of care to each piece.
Your series of cat chairs consider the interplay between objects and art and how they can transform a home’s atmosphere. In what way do you feel the use of rug punching supports this exploration?
The softness really helps embody the interplay for me. People are always delighted when I invite them to sit on one of my chairs, or to physically connect with the pieces. You can interact with the chairs in a different way, there's a familiarity to the object with it being a chair, something that people can ‘understand’ as an object and artwork. I enjoy creating this link between the two worlds. The rug punching takes me a long time as I don’t use an electric machine. I think the time I spend on each piece also adds another level of care for my pieces, I get to nurture them from the beginning to end.
Image: Selby Hurst Inglefield, Still in time, 2021, 75x65cm, wool on hessian. Image above: Selby Hurst Inglefield, In-between-selves, 2020, 250x150cm, wool, acrylic, beads, straw, buttons on hessian.
Animal symbolism is recurrent throughout your work, each representing either yourself, a loved one or an experience. What do the cats represent in The Cat’s Cradle and how does this fit into the transmutable relationship between reality and fantasy that your art so deftly explores?
The cats for me are my ‘home’. They bring me so much joy and comfort, they are how I envision a domestic space. I’ve always had cats, and a lot of my family members and close friends have had also. I think the cats for me almost represent this interest I have in the mundane, they’re (most of the time) not the loudest voice or the most present being, but they are always there, rooted onto a comfy chair or there to silently comfort you after a hard day. I enjoy the silent communication you can have with a cat, how you know instinctively what each other is feeling. It’s another reason why I feel they fit so well being linked to a chair, it’s that instant comfort you can get in moments. I could talk about cats and what they mean to me forever but I’ll try not to go on too much or I’ll become even more of a crazy cat lady than I already am! I think in all aspects of my practice, in short, I'm really interested in this unspoken communication I receive by either objects, animals or my surroundings.
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