‘My own body may feel away from me, something problematic and foreign, even at moments of its most intimate disclosure.’
Drew Leder – The Absent Body
Alexandra Searle (born 1992) is a London-based sculptor. After studying Fine Art at Newcastle University graduating in 2015, she went on to complete an MFA in Fine Art Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2019. Drawing on references to her own experiences with anxiety, Searle manipulates and exploits the behaviour of materials in order to physically depict moments of stress, tension and expectation. Her works expose familiar fragilities and aim to dig into the soft tissue of the materials she uses.
In this new body of work, Searle aims to illustrate this lack of control. Being oblivious to our visceral operations, whether routine or threat, leaves us guessing how best to function on the surface in order to appease the foreign and unpredictable vessel we exist within.
Overspilling from their frames or constraints in bulges of protest, many of the forms are dictated by pressure and gravity, rather than the artist’s autonomy during the creation process. Glass recalls its former liquidity, having folded under its own weight, and tubular forms erupt in tangles. There is overabundance within each piece, teetering on the edge of burst or collapse, or in other cases sagging, inert and spent, to the bottom of the frame. Pressures and anxieties are here physically represented in the strain or defeat of the materials themselves.
Gaining inspiration from the positive and negative spaces constantly interchanged within the mould making and casting process, Searle plays with juxtaposing outsides and insides, hollows and solids. Combining materials both fragile and unyielding, Searle aims to physically depict the weight, in every sense of the word, of the corporeal existence.