Harriet Rose Cox                                                                                                                                                                                                    Works      Contact

   Research Statement

In ecology the term ecosystem is described as a collection of organisms living in conjunction with a physical environment. But what happens if these terms are employed within an art gallery, the gallery acting as the physical environment within which the living organisms, being the viewers and the artworks co-exist? This is a question I aim to investigate within my practice, approaching the work through a biological perspective rather than a sculptural one. The forms I produce gained a sense of autonomy through the implication of durational movement. Over time the sculptures slowly disperse throughout the space they inhabit, creating a feeling that they are invading and spreading. This movement is slow paced but allows for an interplay between the forms and the other artworks that occupy the same space. There is a continual dialogue between the sculptural movement and the hand that enables it, and a seemingly symbiotic relationship has developed between them. However, I think of the works as having their own agenda or intention, one that the viewer and even myself are not quite aware of.

My current series of sculptures are continually evolving and developing through structure, form and intent. Starting from simple soft forms made from fabric and stuffing and evolving stage by stage into more complex forms changing both in material and structure. Now containing metal skeletons and translucent skins, with segmented bodies and twisting magnetised joins. The evolutionary aspect of the work is suggestive of something bigger than the time and space they currently inhabit, though seen in this time and this space they have their own duration, existing outside of and independent of the timescale of an exhibition. They were something different before and will continue to change after, as though they are adapting to their next environment.

The basis of my research stems from inquiry into natural organisms, specifically those with bizarre or alien characteristics. Be this through appearance, adaptations, behaviours or movement. I am drawn to how these creatures are both recognisable and familiar while simultaneously alien and unnerving. This notion of the in-between, where objects or organisms occupy conflicting positions at the same time, plays a key role in my practice.

My fascination with organic matter is countered by my interest in artificial nature, in the form of bio-likeness robotics which attempt to breath a sense of life to mechanical structures, and synthetic eco-systems, entirely self-sustaining yet trapped in man-made glass spheres. Humanity’s incessant drive to imitate life artificially, simultaneously excites and frightens me. My use of obvious craft materials and laborious hand orientated processes instead of precise 3D printing and motion-sensor mechanics acts as a pointer to the paradoxical aim of humanity’s ceaseless need to recreate organic life through artificial means.

The work occupies a liminal state, continually placed in a position of transition, whether that be its physical position or its stage of evolution. This in-between state creates a sense of ambiguity both in its appearance and its intentions, pointing to artificiality and yet evoking a sense of life, moving and continually changing.