Ailish Treanor

2018, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Newcastle University

"I use a wide range of materials, such as; ceramics, silk prints, found objects and video, to achieve curious relationships between the human body and clothing. My sculptures seek to highlight the politicized and threatened nature of female bodies, both socially and historically. They also relate to how I view my own body as something beautiful and capable, but also unruly and treacherous. All of my sculptures are carefully posed and poised, yet they constantly threaten to slip and bulge from their composed state. This dysfunction is both playful and hostile. I’m interested in how clothing and objects can be deployed as feminist strategies of solidarity, support and protection. Some of my sculptures can be worn as headdresses and others are made from ceramic and suggest a relationship with the body which is stiff and uncomfortable. A kind of constrictive support-structure for the body. Vails appear in my work often. Vails illustrate the political nature of a woman’s freedom to conceal or reveal her body. In my sculptures there is often an interplay between ‘the revealed’ and ‘the concealed’.
Clay vails conceal the openings of urn-like vases, and in others a hoofed foot is concealed by terracotta, and rebelliously peaks out. Vails interest me as they are symbols of sublimity and femininity but they also refer to a patriarchal system, I’m interested in exploring this tangled association. In my films I explore ways in which materials can be used in a simple way to achieve a transformation. In one film a sheet of wet kitchen roll becomes a veil. In another, a hot water bottle is made into a soft sculpture, which can be used to calm menstrual cramps. I think of the female waist as the center of strength for the whole body, and women’s shape-wear, supportunderwear and corsets influence my work a lot. I like how these items have the potential of giving the wearer a choice to sculpt their own waist and shape, yet how this can create something perverse and abject when taken to an extreme. The potential of sculpting one’s own body can be viewed as an act of selfobjectification, and through this achieve a sense of self-possession."
Hoof (Slipping out) 2018.jpg
Hoof (Slipping out) 
50 cm x 80 cm
Eeermes 2018.jpg
Digital print on silk
100 cm x 100 cm 
Mona (Bloat) 2018.jpg
Mona (Bloat) 
40 cm x 55 cm