For the past three years, my main area of interest has been the issues surrounding the relationships between humans and animals. In my recent practice I have been exploring the idea of the animal as practitioner and how different species might shape, frame and make space in our everyday urban environments through methods of sculpture and drawing. I have recently come across the term ‘Vermin culture’. This term is given to various species of animal which are considered a nuisance or a ‘pest’. This inspired me to produce a number of drawings and sculptures made from a variety of found objects that I placed in a deranged manner to give the illusion of an unstable structure that could trap or snare an animal. I am also interested in the shared urban spaces in which animals live along side us; where wild animals become domesticated or agricultural. “To consider the boundaries of what it means to be human rather than animal”(O’Reilly,2009,p.149.) is a quote I have used as a guiding principle in my work to address questions about the residual traces left by animals, looking at the spaces animals inhabit and turning them into sculptural forms.

27th May 2012

Photoset

Alan Baker, Orifice, latex casts from Rabbit holes

this sculpture is based on some of the drawings i have been producing in my sketch book and as mixed media collage pieces. this sculpture is built up of a number of cast taken from my plaster casts of rabbit holes. like the artist Eva Hesse, i wanted to cast them in a material which can be easily moved into different animalistic positions and gives the sculpture a human element to it. after trying out a number of different materials i thought about using latex as it has this texture and look of human skin and stuffing it with cotton wool which more or less removes the animal from the sculpture and becomes something that isn’t seen as human nor animal. like my drawings the sculpture does have this representation of something internal like intestines or arteries which viewed in a different context can seem alien. if i had more time i would of liked to have built up the sculpture with more latex casts to create a larger entity.