Eleanor Dawson BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History
My work explores identity through the lenses of taste, class and nostalgia, specifically looking at the domestic space as a vehicle for all these elements to be represented in. As someone from working-class roots, I’m interested in the way our childhood background and the ideas, objects, morals and traditions associated with them- which can so often be influenced by money- shapes our identity as we grow older, especially within the domestic space.
This idea of the home, the internal and the domestic has been elevated to the forefront of my practise in the past year, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to become more insular, and look more closely into our immediate home and the space we surround ourselves in. Through abstract, mixed-media digital paintings lending to patterns for fabric/textiles work, I attempt to convey these feelings of identity, the home, class, taste and nostalgia, layering traditional and modern media as a metaphor for the layers of family tradition and individual modernity that make up our identity.
My current practise is based on my grandmother’s home as well as my own, as spaces I associate both with working-class taste, as well as containing many objects I attach personal stories and memories to. I’ve begun to focus heavily on fabric and textiles, taking the concepts of taste and knowledge being inherited by using something that is often passed down through families- fabric, clothing, and inherited skills such as knitting and sewing that are integral to my grandmother’s home life. I combine elements of inspiration I’ve gained from both domestic spaces to create huge soft sculptures that connote feelings of the domestic, nostalgia, and taste identity.