Fragments Of Self 2021

Fragments of Self 2021

Summary

Series of 9 Paper Collages
52.5cm x 43cm

Fragments of Self (2021) is a series of 9 handcrafted paper collages created with the images of the botanical ceramics made for Paula de la Rua’s honours research project Seeing Plants: Reversing the Politicising of Plants as a Decolonialist Strategy (2020).

In 2020, Paula created the hashtag #illustratingwithceramicscordoba as a means to share the process behind her studio practice on social media to a wider audience in a colourful, engaging way.

Paula’s artworks are process driven by artisanal traditions, directed by material thinking and plant blindness theory, where the idea of illustrating with ceramics became the starting point for Fragments of Self.

Fragments of self can be seen as a deconstructed series of self-portraits that dissect some of the ideas, values and cultural perspectives framing her understanding of the world. This is through the prism of a multicultural background where identity becomes a collage shaped by the political landscape.

BAD Gardens Of Babylon

Fragments Of Self

Series of 9 Paper Collages
52.5cm x 43cm

Fragments of Self (2021) is a series of 9 handcrafted paper collages created with the images of the botanical ceramics made for Paula de la Rua’s honours research project Seeing Plants: Reversing the Politicising of Plants as a Decolonialist Strategy (2020).

In 2020, Paula created the hashtag #illustratingwithceramicscordoba as a means to share the process behind her studio practice on social media to a wider audience in a colourful, engaging way.

Paula’s artworks are process driven by artisanal traditions, directed by material thinking and plant blindness theory, where the idea of illustrating with ceramics became the starting point for Fragments of Self.

Fragments of self can be seen as a deconstructed series of self-portraits that dissect some of the ideas, values and cultural perspectives framing her understanding of the world. This is through the prism of a multicultural background where identity becomes a collage shaped by the political landscape.

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Seeing plants: Reversing the Politicising of Plants as a Decolonialist Strategy

Seeing plants II, III & IV is part of an installation of 5 sculptures for Paula de la Rua’s honours research project in 2020. The purpose of this installation is to decolonise and reclaim the power of nature as a response to British imperialist expansion. The past human relationship with the landscape has been contentious and often used as a political battleground to exert power and influence over people, land and nature through the cultural legacies of colonialism. To expand from standardised ways of thinking and making work in this context, this installation investigates the decolonisation and politicising of plants through the material thinking and handling of clay and collage.

It researches, explores and examines how fine art practice might approach and foreground the decolonisation and politicising of nature, analysing and responding to address the exploitation of land using colour, the power of multiples, scale, movement and joy, as nature seeks to reclaim the imperialist landscape. It seeks to convey an artistic style of expression that uses complex forms, bold ornamentation and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement and tension.

The wider implications of this installation reveals a shift to an ecocentric perspective of abundance, attempting to redress the imbalance created by anthropocentrism, and allow nature to be seen as a dynamic subject rather than a passive object in art. It is significant as it attempts to link the past and the present, in terms of establishing and conveying how colonialism was a system of devastating inequalities with deeply rooted legacies evident in contemporary culture.

This project highlights the subjugation of nature as a consequence of British imperialist expansion and reverses the politicising of plants as symbolic tools of oppression. This installation contributes to the ongoing discussion within this critical field of study and the associated practice of art framing this topic.

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