Jodie Carey is interested in ideas of ageing, memory, time passing and the shadowy boundary between forgetting and remembering, and her monumental sculptures and installations have been influenced by such genres as still life and vanitas. She originally studied textiles, before switching to fine art and attending Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art, and traces of her own path are evident in her painstaking and labour-intensive artworks. Since having her first baby in 2016, and returning to her studio three weeks later, she has moved away from her more decorative and ornamental earlier works and begun to strip back her work and make it more subtle.
Carey, whose works develop through the process of making, describes her art not as a job but as an extension of who she is. She prefers more traditional and “simpler” processes, such as carving, weaving and drawing directly on to walls, eschewing anything heavily fabricated. She juxtaposes materials and scale, questioning the nature of the monument and exploring how something transient and fragile might also be quite monumental in its own right.
Carey invited Studio International to her south London studio while she was making works for her new installation, Earthcasts, at Edel Assanti, London. Burying lengths of salvaged timber in the ground, she created rudimentary moulds, into which she then poured plaster. The resulting sculptures, which she worked into by hand, sometimes adding a lick of white paint or a shade of coloured pencil, are of a human-scale and could equally be age-worn human figures or gnarled tree trunks – again, the human and the natural is a juxtaposition Carey enjoys exploiting. There is a material roughness to her pieces, which she describes as “very physical objects”.
Jodie Carey: Earthcasts
Edel Assanti, London
23 June – 11 August 2017
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Barbara Walker – interview: ‘From the moment I make the first mark, I’ve already said goodbye’
Walker scours archives for images on which to base her drawings of black soldiers. She talks here as she creates a wall drawing for the show Protest and Remembrance at Alan Cristea
Mary Griffiths – interview: ‘I extrapolate a drawing that has some resonance with part of the structure I’ve been looking at’
In Protest and Remembrance at Alan Cristea, with her large abstract works of plywood, acrylic gesso and graphite, Griffiths aims to capture the splendour of the working-class engineering at a former colliery
Joy Gerrard – interview: ‘I’m interested in how we witness and interpret these events’
In her depictions of mass protests, Gerrard aims to make visible those who attend. For Protest and Remembrance at Alan Cristea, she focuses on anti-Trump and anti-Brexit marches
Miriam de Búrca – interview: ‘The sites themselves are very charged: very beautiful but also very tragic’
With her detailed drawings of plants growing on the graves of Ireland’s excommunicates and other unblessed souls, De Búrca, now on show in Protest and Remembrance at Alan Cristea, hopes to restore the dignity of those the Catholic church abandoned
Protest and Remembrance: Miriam de Búrca | Joy Gerrard | Mary Griffiths | Barbara Walker
Drawings by four contemporary female artists explore notions of protest and remembrance, from anti-Brexit marches to unconsecrated Irish burial sites, and forgotten black soldiers to former collieries in the north of England