Exhibiting my felted sculptures for the first time, I wanted to depict them in a scene that would truly impact the viewer, increasing a sense of unease and concern.
Through exhibiting my characters through a playground theme, I related the scene with the viewer, as a universal recognition was made when first observed, but i also however created a sense of reality by manipulating that common sense of innocence commonly associated with youth.
As the viewer approaches the work, they will become aware of a familiar scene from their childhood, regardless of their age, this piece will reach a memory within and will stir up a recognisable feeling of youth, freedom and innocence.
Using a reminder of the inner child of the viewer, I want my work to introduce a want to play, to interact with the pieces. Through a time-link with the past, I want to encourage the viewer to re-live their childhood.
However, after this feeling has been triggered and the viewer approaches the work further they will make a rather unnerving discovery. On closer inspection, it will become clear that these toys are not in fact for playing with. The distorted features and rather dangerous aspects of the characters depicting this innocent scene will become more prominent and the viewer’s experience of this piece will change completely, introducing fear, weariness and concern.
Through my work I am presenting to the viewer a question of the innocence of humanity and society. Through this familiar and innocent scene, I have introduced a sense of ‘reality’ and by creating characters that are not false in a ‘fairytale’-like state of purity, as similar connections with youth and childhood are often assumed, but in fact depicting a scene heaving reality.
The playground isn’t a place of innocence in any way. Issues of rank, race, size and absolutely any other evidence of difference is taken notice of as well as a constant need to be ‘accepted’ by the society of the playground. Therefore, I find it a fitting scene to depict to also express this sense of manipulation on a world-wide scale.
My work’s purpose is to make people aware of this mask of the innocence of humanity. Through massive ranges of power and control, the society we have created for ourselves has become warped and mutilated into something quite horrific. Whilst covered in this cosy exterior of hope and kindness, we are all under the thumb of power and complete free will is something we can only dream of.