I’ve been adapting postcards of figurative sculptures for an ongoing postal conversation with a friend. But by adding a title I encourage the meaning to slip and slide. I’ve struggled making images that are so obviously ‘people’. Yes, my work is all about people but rather I focus on the things they make and do. People are there, but as shadows, ghosts and metaphors.
In some respect that is true of the cards – the statues are hidden or hiding, removed, collaged over or peeled away to leave only a trace. The form is still present. Then today I was sent a quote by a woman I’m working with in Hull. It’s about ‘the other’ and how when we ‘other’ people/animals we create a kind of ‘ventriloquist dummy’. A puppet we talk across and give character too. The dummy is a side kick, a controversial or questionable cheeky character, with origins in interpreting internal voices that speak in the stomach. This made me think of these cards. It’s this, now, blindingly obvious realisation, that’s made me even more uncomfortable. The cards that dont work are where I throw my voice – where I deflect and attempt to entertain. So it’s back to the dreams and back to the drawing board, because only then will the outcomes be me and not a picture of the other me.