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Label: lenka clayton

Wednesday 05th November 2014Artist Spotlight: Lenka Clayton

At first blush, Lenka Clayton's newest project is a bit unremarkable. A simple collection of objects that could have been found in anyone's junk drawer, forgotten coat pocket, or even a street gutter. Yet as the 63 starkly paced objects begin to take on meaning, the story behind them unfolds into a smile, or even a laugh. The various objects, ranging from the mundane to the disgusting, are all objects that were removed from the mouth of her baby son in the nick of time, just before they became a potential trip to the emergency room.


CIgarette butts, coins, bubblegum and buttons are among the wide variety of pieces included in the work, entitled '63 Objects Taken From My Son's Mouth', which is currently on display in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, USA. While perhaps not the most illustrious of venues, it nevertheless is an interesting look at how potentially life-threatening events metamorphose in our memories as time progresses.


"To be included I had to physically extricate the object myself, and have a real fear he was about to swallow it," she explained in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. "What interested me afterwards was when something so terrible and life-threatening turned into something else - a story. From a moment of horror came something like humour."


The piece is actually part of a larger project, which she has titled the Artist Residency in Motherhood. "I aimed to embrace the fragmented mental focus, exhaustion, nap-length studio time and countless distractions of parenthood as well as the absurd poetry of time spent with young children as my working materials and situation, rather than obstacles to be overcome," Clayton explained.


For any artist parent who's ever had their creativity plunged into the doldrums by lack of sleep and exhaustion (although it's sometimes true that those can be creative drivers), it's a clarion call of possibility, an inspiring look at how the most basic form of creativity - creating a tiny new life - can also push us to new artistic and creative heights. While time in the studio may be short, if every experience you have acts as a potentially inspiring moment, actual studio time might become less and less important to the creative act itself.

 

You can read more about the project at Clayton's website, found here.


Take heart, sleepy parents!

Posted on November 05th 2014 on 06:43pm
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