SUBTERRANEAN ARTEFACTS At the core of my artistic practice lies an exploration into trauma, memory, personal, and collective histories, mechanisms of healing and repair, and the relationship between body and space. This exploration is viewed through the intersection of existential phenomenology and depth psychology. My journey into this process began with the repetitive ’embodied action’ of digging holes with bare hands during a period of grieving. This act, partially in response to the phenomenological concept of ‘dwelling’ and partly as an unusual self-soothing practice, became a physical response to disassociation associated with trauma, a reclamation of personal agency over the body. This embodied action is echoed in feminine and domestic forms sculpted later.

I began casting these ‘pits’ in plaster. Plaster resonates with me due to its connotations with construction (linked to Gaston Balanchard’s house) and repair, both in building and medical contexts, such as setting a broken bone. Alongside my plaster casting, I paralleled the embodied action of digging by sculpting with wax for bronze casting, akin to the depth psychological process of transmutation. I’ve employed bronze depictions of nostalgic, feminine, ‘ghostly’ objects, blending artifacts from disparate eras, creating anachronistic compositions that blur temporal boundaries. These are portrayed as treasures ’emerging’ from the excavation suggested by digging, and plaster-cast sandcastle buckets. The buckets’ forms, resembling castles, reference Balanchard’s concepts of the tower and the cellar, echoing the subterranean and the subconscious extending both above and below.

instagram: @rosegennan

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Rosegennan Whitlock-Whyte