Throughout this project, I investigated various material qualities and applied them in ways to encourage audience interaction.
Focusing largely on casting techniques, I used various materials such as glass, foam glass, silicone, latex, jesmonite and brass.
Material deception was one of my main aims, trying to provoke the audience's curiosity. Those of us who are able to see often 'feel with our eyes' through visual touch, and predict how an object might feel physically. Playing with this idea, I made many of the objects feel different to how they looked and encouraged the audience to physically touch the work.
Tactile exploration is something that we all use every day, with an innate curiosity to explore the world around us. I decided to use unassuming forms that most of us recognise to some degree, and these are mostly derived from fruit and vegetables.
In my dissertation, I discussed the potential positive effects that touching sculptural objects could have on a person's mental well-being, suggesting that more artists should explore ways of creating work that is interactive.
I hope that this work encourages people to use their sense of touch more intuitively, in making work as well as exploring it and the world around them.
The objects before you await your engagement. It is up to you to decide how. I encourage you to feel the visuotactile qualities of these objects, to satisfy the impulsive sense of curiosity you might experience when discovering something new.
Mindful and mindless exploration is something that I find myself doing a lot when interacting with tactile objects. A playful experience that I describe as interchangeable, a state of flow, a strong sense of calm or a few moments of uninterrupted mind-nothingness. These interactions can often lead to reduced feelings of stress and anxiety, and I hope that you might experience this too.
Derived from fruit, vegetables and seeds these objects are deceptive to the touch. The tessellation of interlocking forms is intended to mirror the interlocking of your hands with surfaces as you explore them freely.
I want to challenge the antiquated curatorial phrase ‘Do Not Touch’ by allowing everybody to interact with my work, to realise the importance of this sense that seems to be taken for granted.
So, please touch.