David Henry Donald
Thesis: Confectionary & Myths
I consciously use non-traditional sculptural materials like food and disposable ephemera like packaging that are aligned nearer to a craft process to provide economical material value and evidence of novel ‘effort’ within my medium. The techniques are not overly laboured but come from discerned personal knowledge of the material and its use. Using the ‘handmade’ allows me to accept a lessening of control, taking on a life of their own and usurping expectations. I use outmoded imagery and stylisation alongside humour to undermine and present stereotypes of taste, informed by questions like: who would own, display or accumulate this and where is it from? Who is it made for? From here, the choice of material assumes a ‘camp’ sensibility because they provide unexpected gestural results, away from the notions of good/bad, worthy or unworthy. By analysing modes of display and installation that are outside the realm of art, like: store front design, commercially curated objects and ‘personal’ domestic presentations I provide an interest into the pragmatic decisions of others, to inform new ways of re-actualizing works.
Most of the work exists as singular small objects, of a scale that is likened to domestic gifts which allows them to be easily transposed within a space in both walls and on vertical orientations. As a collection, they form an installation that is ‘in process’, allowing the audience to understand them as objects in a process of final display.
The forms and images in the work align with an outmoded and vernacular style but have an intelligence and confidence as they use images from shared-cultural memories to provide a generous and inclusive way of interpretation for an audience, through a ‘hobbyist-like’ endeavour.