Jennifer Kelly was one artist exhibiting work as part of the Masters Show at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design from 19 – 28 August in Dundee, Scotland. In text around the exhibition space she refers to the work as a “critique”, specifically of “the commercial pressure for maintaining an appearance of perfection not only [in] our bodies but also in our lives”.
One particularly strong part is her ‘Creation Story’ ceramic piece. Laid out like a shrine, small figures crowd around on the ground worshipping a smiling, benevolent looking goddess-figure referred to as Premaruupa. Viewers are informed that while all of us were made out of clay, Premaruupa (above) wasn’t formed in a conventional way and was seen as being ‘wrong’ – that is until those around her came to realise that perfection itself was a false idol and through her strange beauty they could accept their own imperfections.
While a lovely parable in itself, the piece is enhanced by the presence of some spare clay and a table for viewers to become participants and make their own small Premaruupa devotee. This interactive element becomes a sort of art therapy, allowing the viewer to reflect on the themes and ideas within the space while making their figurine.
Exhibition now finished.
Words: Ana Hine
Images: Jennifer Kelly
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