Recurring themes in my process-based art practice are memory, identity and loss. I am drawn to the discarded and forgotten - my form of inquiry is to intuitively experiment with the materiality of the objects I encounter.
“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder and distortion.” Yohji Yamamoto
‘Death cleaning 1’
Graphite on discarded bed sheet
2530mm x 2460mm
This sheet work was a response to the death of my widowed father during the first level 4 COVID lockdown, 3 hours away from where I live. Due to the rules, he could not be admitted to the hospice, so he was cared for in his living room, by my brother and his wife. Unable to be with him, my vigil took the form of this work - each night tracing my small collection of op shop china figurines onto a discarded sheet. The marks are distorted, grotesque even - they no longer resemble the objects they are copies of. It is a record of time - a vigil, but ultimately, not a hopeful one.
‘Towers of Silence’
Resin, discarded newspaper, gesso, plaster
148mm x 70mm
These collages speak to the experience of my mother’s decline and death from dementia. Through the process of dismantling and erasing the comforting and familiar has been abandoned. There is little that can be done against such unremitting disintegration.
Catherine Thomson is an Auckland artist who has work held in the Pah Homestead and Durham University (UK) art collections. She was also a Parkin Drawing Award finalist 2020. During the first COVID lockdown she started ‘Housebound Art Club’, a regular art inspiration resource on Instagram and Facebook.