Erica Wilkinson

Fine Art, BA (Hons)

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NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.


In my studio practice I work primarily with sculpture and installation. This project began as an exploration into the isolation of mental illness. As a woman with Bipolar Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I have spent periods of my life feeling extremely isolated and this experience is what I was initially hoping to portray through the work. However, through research, the piece developed into an exploration of gender issues prevalent in contemporary Western society, how how these external pressures can affect our self-worth and mental health. I am particularly interested in mental restrictions placed on women and I create satirical solutions to these problems in my work. The wearable sculpture, inspired visually and structurally by a seashell, acts as a metaphor for the security of the character and represents a reality where women could live unburdened by external pressures. The project began as being purely sculptural, however, through researching contemporary artists such an Emily Speed and Phoebe Davies, the goal of a sculpture became a wearable costume.

I chose to document this work with a Polaroid camera as I felt it was a more personal way of capturing the work . I felt that this style was in-keeping with the safe, nostalgic feeling of home felt by the character when in the mindset that the shell represents.