TOVE BARNES

There is a preoccupation with perfection, particularly with the rise of the Instagram generation, where 'influencers', celebrities and online fitness models are portrayed in their small squares as perfect beings. I think it is from this struggle to reach an unattainable presentation of perfection, that we somehow grow to find comfort in the imperfect. It is a relief to see a wonky or flawed object. There is a sense of freedom and release in leaving a crooked vase that way, and I think it reminds us that if an imperfect object can be deemed beautiful, then why can't an imperfect body be perceived in the same way? And further, perhaps the very definition of ‘perfection’ can be altered. 

 

By using vases that are usually associated with high art and classicism and made with high levels of skill and craftsmanship, my clumsy, unbalanced and heavy pots challenge notions of beauty, placing perceivably ugly objects in Fine Art settings to be appraised and even objectified. They are open to such objectification, they are not self-conscious or ashamed, and perhaps this is what makes them so freeing. They are heavy, not what a vase should be, and yet they hold this attribute with indifference. At odds with the stigma of heaviness on the female form, these vases are reclaiming a trait deemed by society as negative.