Growing up in a rural area I spent a large portion of my early childhood outdoors, surrounded by natural elements, playing, and creating with the abundance of mediums and textures around me, marvelling at nature’s generosity. These experiences had a positive impact on my mental health and well-being and, after moving to a metropolitan city later on in life, I found myself missing the ability to immerse myself in those surroundings and the sense of freedom it gave me and which allowed my imagination to flourish.
My work “The Chair” draws from these childhood experiences of being in nature and building resilience through self-generated pockets of joy, both in the process of making the object of play and in contemplating it after it had been made.
The object is not preoccupied with being a chair in a utilitarian sense, instead, it expresses its ‘chair-ness’ through a basic arrangement of elements that were found in the surroundings and activates imagination through form rather than function. I believe that this is the essence of play, which I wish to communicate through the work. All the while I strived to adapting an unconventional approach to the process of art making and materials much like Giuseppe Penone who is associated the Arte Povera movement.
Furthermore, once the elements that compose the chair break down into the surrounding water and woods, they will return to the ground and the river and essentially back to the source of which they came, never really leaving it in the first place and doing so without polluting it. The Chair is an invitation to bring playfulness, low tech and low carbon footprint into human activity to reconnect with nature and reignite the inner child of others with a sense of nostalgia.
Because the chair is placed in the water, this piece also highlights issues around climate change and rising water levels, while giving value to the natural elements and highlighting the importance of the environment and its preservation.