JESS BURTONSHAW

My practice this year has taken a formative continuity in the materials and themes used in previous years. My interests lie within themes surrounding the body. Whether it’s how different materials can be used to manipulate the body, or how a subject can transform a space by simply existing in it. My work is playful and dark, it combines fiction with reality and expresses itself through a variety of mediums. Overall, my work is full of contrasts.

There is a constant running of themes of humour and solemnity which lingers in my work. There is a huge debate to whether humour is problematic when creating art, but I believe that humour plays an important role in transforming the practice and experience of art.

My work for degree show is titled ‘Follow Your Gut’. The title has a lot to do with my conscience and how I often act without thought and create whatever feels right at the time. The idea for this piece was to create a space that would act as an inside of a stomach. The sculptures were originally meant to be worn as a mask, but my trail of thought changed during the making, and so did my work. Instead of concealing the body with a mask, I wanted the viewer to walk into the body, ultimately unmasking my own work. I have placed the sculptures apart from each other in the space, so that there is a pathway for the viewer to walk in. I want it to be an experience where the person feels a part of the work.