We crave social adhesion, be it regular physical touch or emotional connection. As human beings, we depend on social bonds to survive. Loneliness or the sense of being cut-off is something which augments the need to reach out and physically reduce the chasms that separate us in times such as these. In fact, so athirst are our minds that we become less particular about the source of comfort when all our being is yearning for that which remains, at least temporarily, beyond our grasp: each other.
What is it that we miss exactly? That would satisfy complex physiological and psychological needs? Faces according to several studies. Human anatomy. The capacity for tactility in myriad forms. So much so that we invest physical qualities and characteristics into that which can’t realistically respond to us—and yet. As children, we beheld toys and other comforters to soothe and salve. As adults, in such times, we attach ourselves to the objects of the home, the space we are now forced to turn our attention in a way we have not done in our lifetimes, and not to just any objects, but those which give us the deep sense of being at home. Of belonging, of our history, our personal value, a sense of protection, and guardianship. From this totemic positioning, we have assembled works of a decidedly anthropomorphous register to which we find ourselves drawn, aching to reach out. Else, simply, to sit in their company, their comfort and their sentience.
Lindy Lee, in her flung bronze sculpture, for example, considers the freedom of chance and the elements influenced by her Taoist and Buddhist learnings; Sanné Mestrom’s embrace of works from her Body As Verb series, made for rest and repose, in the image of a mother to whose body their child might climb and cleave; Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran’s signature neo-expressionist figures, like contemporary icons, offer both a sense of play and protection in their gestural ceramic mastery; Alex Seton’s Less Talking, More Listening, and Proposal for a humble monument produce subtle human features from the ancient, rocky substance of the Earth, altogether offering a staying, monolithic and protective presence; and, finally, Tim Silver, whose sculptural considerations of time through the apparent ageing and degrading human form remind us of the urgency of the now, as little as we might understand or control it.
In all cases, these are monuments to materiality, to tangibility, to touch. Far away from the screens that behave as proxy for the physical borders and restrictions—so necessary and yet so devastating to many, if not all.