Anita Larkin’s art practice focuses on our relationships with familiar objects, and how these objects are connected to memory, language, context, collective human experience, and the feminine. For Larkin, collected objects are like using a type of shorthand language, as they can instantly connect us to complex memory of whole events, and emotions, or poetically discuss complex socio-political issues. The objects often used in Larkin’s work are chairs, tables, hot-water bottles, crutches, ladders, balls, beds, cots, hand-tools, shoes and musical instruments. Some objects are found to be especially evocative and can be strong sites of longing, fear, desire, loss and identity.

Larkin uses collected objects, selected for their close and durational contact with a human body. She playfully subverts the usual reading of each object she works with, often co-joining the object onto other objects/casts of body parts, reconfiguring the object to be other than it is, enveloping it in felt, or casting it in porcelain, bronze, or beeswax. There is the curious suggestion that objects be imagined to have parallel lives and hardships similar to our own. Larkin builds discarded objects into new autonomous objects, free to leap across the room, to play, to retaliate, to be other than they are expected to be. The ordinary object becomes metaphorical and uncanny.

The complex duality of absence and presence are central to Larkin’s practice, where collected objects have gathered physical evidence of an absent body through markings of making, of wear and tear. Absence is also felt when functionality of the object is denied, and consequently we become aware of the very nature of the object itself, its presence. We then often recognise the object as a Thing. The tension between absence and presence is engaged by Larkin, in the use of fragments of objects, casting of objects into other materials, and the enveloping of objects in felt, creating a ghost of the objects she works with.

Intrigued by the malleable boundary lying between an artifact, a toy and a sculpture, Larkin produces work that utilizes substitution and like-actioned objects. Her collected objects are considered in terms of their physical function, their symbolic nature, and for the possibility of referencing something other than they are, the potential to be what she calls ‘substitution objects’. These are her favourite objects to work with; objects that can easily slip into other contexts. Larkin also likes to make connections between what she sees as ‘like-actioned objects’. These objects have a similar physical role to play but would otherwise be normally entirely unrelated. Playful word associations within the contexts of the objects she works with also forms part of the artists practice, intentionally manipulating our perceptions of the everyday objects around us.

Larkin views her body as a collected object to make work with. It is the collected object most readily available to her. These body-objects are co-joined with other collected objects in her sculptures. Making direct casts of her feet, hands, ears, lips and breasts; she thereby situates her work firmly within a feminine perspective. The materials used to cast the body-objects hold a particular significance relating to themes of time, longevity, preservation and insulation. Porcelain, bronze, and beeswax have been most frequently used in her works, in addition to the enveloping of many objects in felt.

Felt is an intriguing contemporary sculpture material, with one foot in our Neolithic nomadic past and one foot in industrial society. Like other textiles of haptic allure, felt has an immediate intimacy with the viewer’s own body, but also to animal nature, often engaging a direct visceral response. Making felt is a laboriously physical action, made directly with the artist’s body, agitating the wool fibres to encourage them to entangle together. The performative element of feltmaking lends vitality to the material that is often palpable. Felt is a matrix, non-linear, without axis, constantly in flux, shifting during and after it’s forming. It is a substance, a material, and a Thing. Felt is often perceived to be a lowly material, a material of necessity, laying underneath the floorboards, in between the cogs in machines, inside musical instruments and wrapped around nomads houses. Larkin's work reveals felt to be many things outside of its ordinary domestic associations. She engages felt as symbolic narrative, healing substance, insulation device, connection to nature, to haptic human senses, to our first origins, and as a way to investigate the function of various objects in the world.

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Anita Larkin’s art practice focuses on our relationships with familiar objects, and how these objects are connected to memory, language, context, collective human experience, and the feminine. For Larkin, collected objects are like using a type of shorthand language, as they can instantly connect us to complex memory of whole events, and emotions, or poetically discuss complex socio-political issues. The objects often used in Larkin’s work are chairs, tables, hot-water bottles, crutches, ladders, balls, beds, cots, hand-tools, shoes and musical instruments. Some objects are found to be especially evocative and can be strong sites of longing, fear, desire, loss and identity.

Larkin uses collected objects, selected for their close and durational contact with a human body. She playfully subverts the usual reading of each object she works with, often co-joining the object onto other objects/casts of body parts, reconfiguring the object to be other than it is, enveloping it in felt, or casting it in porcelain, bronze, or beeswax. There is the curious suggestion that objects be imagined to have parallel lives and hardships similar to our own. Larkin builds discarded objects into new autonomous objects, free to leap across the room, to play, to retaliate, to be other than they are expected to be. The ordinary object becomes metaphorical and uncanny.

The complex duality of absence and presence are central to Larkin’s practice, where collected objects have gathered physical evidence of an absent body through markings of making, of wear and tear. Absence is also felt when functionality of the object is denied, and consequently we become aware of the very nature of the object itself, its presence. We then often recognise the object as a Thing. The tension between absence and presence is engaged by Larkin, in the use of fragments of objects, casting of objects into other materials, and the enveloping of objects in felt, creating a ghost of the objects she works with.

Intrigued by the malleable boundary lying between an artifact, a toy and a sculpture, Larkin produces work that utilizes substitution and like-actioned objects. Her collected objects are considered in terms of their physical function, their symbolic nature, and for the possibility of referencing something other than they are, the potential to be what she calls ‘substitution objects’. These are her favourite objects to work with; objects that can easily slip into other contexts. Larkin also likes to make connections between what she sees as ‘like-actioned objects’. These objects have a similar physical role to play but would otherwise be normally entirely unrelated. Playful word associations within the contexts of the objects she works with also forms part of the artists practice, intentionally manipulating our perceptions of the everyday objects around us.

Larkin views her body as a collected object to make work with. It is the collected object most readily available to her. These body-objects are co-joined with other collected objects in her sculptures. Making direct casts of her feet, hands, ears, lips and breasts; she thereby situates her work firmly within a feminine perspective. The materials used to cast the body-objects hold a particular significance relating to themes of time, longevity, preservation and insulation. Porcelain, bronze, and beeswax have been most frequently used in her works, in addition to the enveloping of many objects in felt.

Felt is an intriguing contemporary sculpture material, with one foot in our Neolithic nomadic past and one foot in industrial society. Like other textiles of haptic allure, felt has an immediate intimacy with the viewer’s own body, but also to animal nature, often engaging a direct visceral response. Making felt is a laboriously physical action, made directly with the artist’s body, agitating the wool fibres to encourage them to entangle together. The performative element of feltmaking lends vitality to the material that is often palpable. Felt is a matrix, non-linear, without axis, constantly in flux, shifting during and after it’s forming. It is a substance, a material, and a Thing. Felt is often perceived to be a lowly material, a material of necessity, laying underneath the floorboards, in between the cogs in machines, inside musical instruments and wrapped around nomads houses. Larkin's work reveals felt to be many things outside of its ordinary domestic associations. She engages felt as symbolic narrative, healing substance, insulation device, connection to nature, to haptic human senses, to our first origins, and as a way to investigate the function of various objects in the world.

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