I combine clay and textiles, which have been historically used as craft forms, with found objects, text, and sometimes performance to create sculpture that confronts the viewer with dark weirdness and nostalgia.
I am attracted to found objects, especially old tools, because other people (living or dead) have had experiences with them. All objects have a history, whether it is documented or not. An object is created, and brought forth into existence by the designer. The object wears and evolves through use. I am very influenced by old tools and handmade textiles because they were used or created by someone working with their hands. I think about the people that have used these objects, imagine what kind of lives they led and what they looked like. By incorporating found objects into my work, I am both exploring and extending the history of the object and the idea of its past users and makers.
I am also very influenced by the people that may be considered permanent residents in the bowels of society: the physically deformed, the mentally ill, the cat ladies, the barflies, and the vagrants. Their isolation fascinates me. I create characters from these people, give them names and personalities, and eventually transform them into something viewable. They come out as verbal phrases with strange accents, distorted humans and creatures, or abstracted performance.
There’s also a lot of humor behind my work that is slightly confrontational and obnoxious. Mainly inside jokes with myself, the work is very entertaining to create. The bold use of color allows the work to be even louder in its space. In the end, I want to create a work that has many layers and sucks the viewer in.
Copyright Thea Meussling 2012.