KARLA BLACK

 

 

 

 Pleaser, 2009
 Cellophane, sellotape, paint, soap,
 body moisturising cream, toothpaste, cling film,
 Cif cream, nail varnish, fabric dye powder

Black is interested in exploring material experience as a way of thinking, feeling or communicating without language. She makes work from materials with which she has an intimate, familiar kind of relationship: the substances and surfaces that constitute her everyday life, from body moisturiser to traditional art materials such as chalk or paper that we first encounter as children. Her approach to materials is without hierarchy; if she likes the texture of a cream or material she will use it. Aware that some products carry more cultural connotations than others, Black draws out the physical properties of materials such as petroleum jelly or cellophane and in doing so makes us understand them in a different way.

 

‘Pleaser’ is what she calls a ‘very thin sculpture,’ although it relates both to painting and sculpture. Embedded in the painted surface are pockets of wet paint and powder, suspended in cling film so they never dry and retain something of their potential for transformation.