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Iris Bowdler

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 2019 / 20

'Jelly and Jeans' Jellies, mixed media  

I consider the physical material to be just as important as the form of a sculpture; conveying texture appeals to the more abstract of human senses and creates a more palpable encounter between object and viewer. For this body of work I have worked almost exclusively in jelly. Using this rather playful foodstuff brings a sense of lifelike animation to casting, a process which has always excited me. Jelly is also significant in relation to the feminist undercurrents of my work. Women as consumable sexual objects is a theme well entrenched in our society. 

'Encounters of Femininity' Triptych (left to right; Offering to Mary, Allen Jones’ Plughole, Encounter Between Two Icons of Femininity). Jellies, mixed media 

Being forced to work from home, my use of photography and installation has been limited. Having photography as the main way of evidencing my sculpture, I wanted to explore the impact of context. By placing the provocative forms around my house, it enabled me to allude to different ‘female’ characteristics. A Madonna highlights the virgin/whore complex; a washing machine for woman’s domestic role; scales for the perceived obsession with weight. Despite the negative impact of these stereotypes, I want my work to remain light hearted.

'Pound of Flesh' Agar agar jelly on weighing scales

My research has included depictions of food in 19thcentury poetry, films such as Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover’ (1989) and Judy Chicago’s ‘The Dinner Party’ (1974-79). Next year I will be going to study English Literature at Oxford University.

'Jelly Party' Jellies, mixed media

'Annie' Plaster, mixed media

'Self-Portrait as Saint Agatha' Oil on board

'Jelly and Jeans' Jellies, mixed media  

I consider the physical material to be just as important as the form of a sculpture; conveying texture appeals to the more abstract of human senses and creates a more palpable encounter between object and viewer. For this body of work I have worked almost exclusively in jelly. Using this rather playful foodstuff brings a sense of lifelike animation to casting, a process which has always excited me. Jelly is also significant in relation to the feminist undercurrents of my work. Women as consumable sexual objects is a theme well entrenched in our society. 

'Encounters of Femininity' Triptych (left to right; Offering to Mary, Allen Jones’ Plughole, Encounter Between Two Icons of Femininity). Jellies, mixed media 

Being forced to work from home, my use of photography and installation has been limited. Having photography as the main way of evidencing my sculpture, I wanted to explore the impact of context. By placing the provocative forms around my house, it enabled me to allude to different ‘female’ characteristics. A Madonna highlights the virgin/whore complex; a washing machine for woman’s domestic role; scales for the perceived obsession with weight. Despite the negative impact of these stereotypes, I want my work to remain light hearted.

'Pound of Flesh' Agar agar jelly on weighing scales

My research has included depictions of food in 19thcentury poetry, films such as Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover’ (1989) and Judy Chicago’s ‘The Dinner Party’ (1974-79). Next year I will be going to study English Literature at Oxford University.

'Jelly Party' Jellies, mixed media

'Annie' Plaster, mixed media

'Self-Portrait as Saint Agatha' Oil on board