I Am Obsessed With Detail
A solo exhibition at the Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham
Much of my work is highly labour intensive, often requiring the repetition of a single activity over and over again. I Am Obsessed With Detail explored the private and silent nature of obsessive compulsive behaviour. Laura’s Portrait referenced a particular case study: at around the age of seven, Laura was compelled to silently count to 50 between reading and writing each word, and to fill in the enclosed parts of each letter. I re-enacted her behaviour, writing the numbers from one to 50 between each word in a short paragraph of text, resulting in a 30 page document.
I Am Obsessed With Detail also looked at the ritualistic behaviour associated with myth and superstition. The objects in Superstition took their form from a historic witch’s ball, which was used to ward off evil spirits. A clear glass ball was filled with coloured threads, the idea being that if a witch entered your house they would be instantly attracted to it. As they were assumed to be mischievous creatures, it was thought the witch would begin to pull the threads out of the ball one by one through the small opening at the top. Once started, the witch would continue until all the threads were removed, after which it was hoped they would leave.
The hand crafted glass balls in Superstition are filled with crocheted lengths of thread, approximately 420 per ball. They were exhibited alongside a DVD, where I perform the removal of threads from one of the glass balls.
A PDF of the essay that accompanied the exhibition, by Alison Plumridge, Director, Smith’s Row can be seen here: