The Lion and his Dear Treacle, installation, 2021
Exhibited as part of UoD Graduate Showcase
Statement taken from original exhibition:
I am an artist concerned with language, contradiction, and decay. By building a symbolic narrative, I can investigate these ideas in connection to industry and femininity. This study emerged from my relationship with the ocean, as a daughter of a deep-sea oil engineer. I am drawn to domestic materials which despite their femininity, have contradictory connections to industry. An object which can represent this network of complicities, is the shell. It’s simultaneously an organic fragment of nature; a kitsch display in seaside towns; and an adopted logo for the oil companies which harm the environment from which the shell originates.
The language my materials present; the shell as object and brand, the dandy-lion as flower and animal, allow for moments of translation. Other pieces of collected language include fairy tales and my dad’s own engineering notes. While researching, an instinctive exploration of intimacy appears.
The decay and literal sweetness of materials like treacle, combined with their complicated history, becomes a site of mythology. Treacle is simultaneously a traditional baking ingredient; a result of the exploitative sugar industry; and used as a prop oil in climate change protests. These materials become tools to understand activities which are too inaccessible, to comprehend or prevent. Using pretty and sweet aesthetics to understand this, I think of the treacle tin’s words, beneath Tate & Lyle's lion carcass logo, Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness.