Rosalind Shaye

University of Luton : MA Art & Design

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Artist Statement

My inspiration and ideas come from my everyday surroundings and everyday events - a discarded object in the street, a weed, a line in a poem, a road sign, a conversation, a picture in a magazine, a spoon, a knife, a thought. I like to take these familiar things and change them so that they become almost unfamiliar.

For me, the best type of art is art that communicates a simple idea but at the same time doesn’t ‘dumb’ down and still manages to remain ambiguous without being pretentious. I am interested in creative work that blurs the boundaries between art and design.

I hope that my work encourages the viewer to look at everyday objects and situations differently. I want to make the mundane interesting and the ugly, not so ugly.

Artwork Statement

In western society, there is a wide spread assumption that nature is separate from humanity. In the urban environment, nature mainly consists of rats, pigeons and weeds which are considered by many to be a nuisance and not valued in any way.

I began to take images of ‘urban nature’ in my home town of Luton.

While photographing weeds around the town centre, I soon noticed that where nature exists in an urban environment, so does rubbish. Weeds behave in much the same way as rubbish - both are disliked and both are hard to control- they have become intertwined.

The similarities of the weeds and rubbish made me think of the Hindu philosophy of ‘non-duality’ - the idea that nature and man are the same, that man comes from the same matter as nature. In this instance, the weed represents the natural world and the piece of rubbish represents man and the urban environment- together the weeds and rubbish illustrate the urban and the natural environment almost coexisting in harmony. So I began photographing the rubbish as well as the weeds.

All this inspired me to make ‘plant like’ sculptures from various plastic, man-made objects such as bottle tops, plastic spoons, cornpads and cotton buds and then photograph them outside like real plants.

The images shown here, are originally part of a slide show.

A slide show enables me to merge two images together, animating the ‘plant’ so that it looks alive, as if going through a natural process, like a daisy for example, that closes its petals at night.

I want to develop this work by experimenting with scale and creating a 3D piece of work. I am making more ‘man-made plants’ and thinking how they would grow if they were real plants. I want to explore in more depth the relationship between the man-made and the natural, the concept of ‘non-duality’ and the idea that nature is part of society.



Group exhibition @ Stroud House Gallery, Stroud 23rd Nov - 23rd Dec 2005

Rosalind Shaye

University of Luton : MA Art & Design


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