Tulip and Willow, Acrylic on found bone, (11.9cm x 2.3cm x 1.6cm), January 2011
We need images, We do not need images (Installation view), Acrylic and gold site-specific ceiling painting, (850cm x 350cm)
“Reality is ungraspable. For convenience we use a limited-reality consensus in which work can be done, transport arranged, and essential services provided. The real reality is something else-only the strangeness of it can be taken in and that’s what interests me.”
(Russel Hoban The Moment Under The Moment)
My practice is bound up with the notion of a specularized society and with examining what influences (or manipulates) our experience of daily reality.Through work such as the Specula and Other Stories series of paintings I have attempted to unearth and fix the disquieting strangeness inherent in quotidian material culture through the dissection and repositioning of imagery that proliferates our daily landscape.
My work is often laboriously and highly crafted, drawing deliberate parallels to the arts and crafts movement as a means for elevating the banal images and materials of the every day. I am also interested in how this relationship can be used to explore ideologies or intentions such as the socialist ideals of authenticity and the impossible strive for naturalistic perfection through craft as extolled by William Morris. Often what connects the different aspects of my practice – paintings, objects, writing and site-responsive drawings – is the contrast to some mythical time as aluded to in the ideals of the arts and crafts movement and romantic poets before capitalism, the internet or mobile communication technologies and the impossible endeavour to ‘return’ or to ‘escape’ through rejecting mechanical means of reproduction.
Through my parallel writing and visual art practices I have begun to open the work up to interrogation, the influence of new concepts and stimuli, evolving pieces which are becoming increasingly expansive and matrix-like, not necessarily conclusive but which certainly propel different ideas and ways of encountering and understanding the work through process and dialogue.
Iris Priest is an artist and writer currently based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Recent projects include writing for Chance Finds Us (http://chancefindsus.com/) and Allenheads Contemporary Arts (http://www.acart.org.uk/ publication date tbc).
Artist website: www.irispriest.co.uk