Eye of the River by Jill Randall

Monday, 1 December 2008

Karen Lyons - Sculpture

I am a self employed artist living and working from my studio base in Littleborough near Rochdale. I identify myself as a sculptor but in an extended sense to include temporary, performative, installational, responsive and site specific work as well as permanent and public work.

My work is highly responsive to the physical – both environmental and bodily.Most of the work I exhibit has been made in response to physical environments focussing particularly upon properties and proportions of a space as constructs for meaning as well as atmospheres, sensations and specific physical characteristics.

Making process and qualities of material are important to me creatively.Much of the work I make involves a performative element to the making process often using my own body to create sculptural form. Current areas of research and production explore the importance of the kinaesthetic experience, that is to say, the experience of touch and ‘doing’ as a means of responding to and engaging with the world. In this sense, the movement of time and the notion of the transitory become important.

Currently I am working on a commissioned ceramic ’pavement’ as part of a tripartite project involving artists from Macerata in Northern Italy and in Transylvania in Romania. The idea of the project is to make work in response to the specific uniqueness of the local environment and the cultural vagaries or similarities in each of the 3 locations. Each artist will respond to aspects of the environment; material, optical and cultural. We will be working in all 3 locations to create the pieces, and to work with students from 3 universities to realise the work.

I am interested to work on the Burnley: Hiddenplace project. My particular interest is with the nature of the architectural spaces given – the small and complex, the historic patination specific to this region. I am also interested in the qualities of the walkways and the aspect of passage. I am attracted to the poetic approach as intimated by the title of the project. The tendency of my work is to utilise the nuanced, subtle and ambiguous, ambivalent and unexpected. The nature of the processes I use and the mode in which I work would lend itself towards the project. I hope I may contribute to the project.

Short description of work shown in attached documentation:

•The ‘Clasp’ sculpture installed as a permanent piece was made for the inauguration of a building functioning for the education of nurses on the University of Salford campus. The clasp form was made in response to the notion of protective gesture – responding to the function of the building and to Mary Seacole to whom the building was dedicated. The project was made in collaboration with Architects AFL and with children from Albion High School.
•The installational sculptures ‘Misshapes’ exhibited in Clermont Ferrand were sited works made in response to the cell-type environment of the Gallery 13 Bis, drawing on the notion of seepage and natural growth.
•The performative floor based pieces ‘Ingresso’ and ‘Crabwalk’ further explore notions of transition; linear and historic, utilising the surface of the ground to describe passages of time and the leaving of traces.

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