Statements: Motivations and Process
'Carruthers is a UK-based artist working in expanded fields of drawing. Often playing with ideas of material significance, scale, uncertainty and transformation she creates propositions which invite us to think about what it means to be human and what survival might look like'.
My work draws on experiences of working and living in the rural county of Lincolnshire where, with large areas of land at and below sea level, the experience of climate change is personal, immediate, and ever-present. Physical disability and post-traumatic growth, outcomes of surviving local flooding, also lie at the heart of my creative decision-making. From this position, it is easy to see that adapting to survive drives all life forms, human and non-human.
Work is typically transient: an evolving iteration of a former solution to a space it previously inhabited. On-the-point-of-collapse installations, performance and constructions using materials and locations that have little or no perceived value. These are found or recycled materials, everyday ephemera, elements of nature and the in-between sites in our surroundings that are unseen and overlooked. Their significance, regardless of their aesthetics is their wider invisibility. I want the elements of the work to help communicate the need for political and social transformation.
Installations and constructions are orchestrated so that each element and material has a role to play in the work's function and existence. This includes the need for viewers to slow down, pay attention to their surroundings and amend their behaviour. All elements and materials are united in a shared vulnerability of an unknown future. The political theorist Massumi states that ‘to affect and to be affected, is to be open to the world and change’. And, it is this conceivable change, he argues, that makes affect immediately political. In my work and practice, I am aiming for cooperation: mutuality, and inclusivity in the broadest sense. This is a community emerging from the assemblage of human and nonhuman. I am proposing this as a practical tactic for survival and a proposition for a better, not-quite-familiar future.
I want to acknowledge the land we stand on and present the world as it is while at the same time, embody an aesthetic that speaks of today’s uncertain political and ecological moment. In very small ways, I am exploring tactics for survival and wondering how to prepare for the not-known and for the accidental futures that go far beyond a human lifetime.