Phantom Limbs and Landscapes
In Phantom Limbs and Landscapes, Polly Yates brings together three bodies of work whose methods and formal qualities overlap. Working both two dimensionally and sculpturally, lines are drawn, by blade and bandage, which map the contours of memory and absence.
The recent works, made from found family archives of people and landscapes, explore the power of the considered alteration. Mountains are spun into seas and seas spun into skies. Lines trace bodies which are gone, emptied or absent. While there can be something faintly violent about a cut photograph, there is care to Yates' reconstruction. The join is equal to the cut, the destructive impulse equal to the conciliatory.
Photographs that were lost, abandoned, sold, or given up, experience additional loss through the process of having their subjects physically removed. Yet, something is gained through something so personal becoming anonymous; a generality is attained and the photographs become reflections of a collective past.
Yates locates her sculptures between the photo series and borrows formal elements from both. While the photographs remain taut, the sculptures have exhausted their tension and have collapsed like exhaled bodies, ghosts, or phantom limbs.
Polly Yates is a British artist and educator,
currently living and working in Chicago. She studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at Wimbledon School of Art (UK) and completed her MA at Central Saint Martins (London, UK) in 2011. She works with
objects and paper, video and installation. In her practice, identity, memory, and desire are the reoccurring themes. Her work has been shown in the US and