My work explores the notion of ‘contamination’, whether it’s the instinctive physical or psychological reaction to substances/situations that we perceive to be threatening, or the idea that an object or space can be ‘contaminated through association’, in other words, how the knowledge of an object or space’s use can alter our perception of it. The scene of a violent crime being a good example of this.
I use mostly domestic scenes/objects in my work. The home not only plays an integral part of the majority of people’s everyday routine, it also acts as a platform for social and community relations, as well as holding a significant position within psychological and cultural research. The home, how it is ordered and presented, is often taken as an indicator of the inhabitant’s personality, their social standing, even the state of their mental health.
In reference to contamination, the home is an interesting subject. In terms of physical contamination, there is a great deal of continuing research into social and cultural standards in relation to ‘clean’ domestic practices, and a huge financial market in the production and marketing of hygiene products which utilises this research. Beyond the physical however, how the home is presented in terms of order/disorder, its placement or position (in terms of hierarchy) within the community, and the events that take place within it, can affect the perception of the inhabitant. The space can in effect contaminate the inhabitant through the association of one with the other, and vice-versa.