Josephine Durkin
Artist Statements:

Artist Statement for Work Made in 2011

The most recent works reference a personal and cultural fascination with home design and improvement. Visually, the work focuses on excerpts of various processes. These include the actions of rolling paint, stencil use, and cake layering. This current body of work acknowledges our desire for things, spaces and food to be visually seductive while emphasizing our attraction to processes that appear to be transparent and attainable.

More and more homeowners are part of the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement. Countless websites, TV shows and magazines such as, HGTV's Design Star and Martha Stewart Living show us how to make, live, cook and eat beautifully. The most recent series of drawings, sculptures, paintings and installations reference the acts of home beautification.

Artist Statement for Static and Time-Based Works, pre-2011

When there is a possibility that one's curiosity could be observed by others, the viewer may become hyper-aware of their own self-consciousness. The work, whether static, interactive or self-operating, transforms the viewer into the performer, and those who are more distant become a voyeuristic audience. Sexual or sensual communication between or amongst viewers is more inviting when it is facilitated with familiar materials, objects and machines. Pencil sharpeners, sewing machines, and toy handles encourage participation, while kiwi seeds, hat pins and masking tape mute the perverse.

Animating and/or personifying manufactured or manipulated shapes and objects invites the viewer to project particular genders, experiences, memories or fantasies onto these androgynous and ageless human surrogates. The positioning or movement of objects, often spaced to suggest relationships with other, nearby objects, mimic human behavior and can initiate viewer introspection while staging stills or excerpts of attraction, dependency, independency, voyeurism, seduction, communication or conflict.

These actions and feelings are often personal and can be difficult or uncomfortable to remember, examine or discuss. However, the static or kinetic gestures that suggest these conversations, have been isolated and packaged in recognizable and approachable products that are neither age nor gender-specific. These altered objects and images (desks, fans, pillows, chairs, ladders, etc.) become new bodies for human gestures. The resulting drawings, sculptures, videos and installations allow for the intimate or uncomfortable to be more public and accessible.