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Will it ever be enough? We’re spoilt with possibilities in this ever growing technological world; transformation and self improvement are at the top of the to-do list for many. Yet this could be said to be driven by the fear of our own expectations. These impractical expectations coupled with our realistic, or even overly critical, performance self-assessment produces a gap between how we’re doing and how we think we should or could be doing. Our unmet ambition fuels our self-improvement fixation.
Now as well as these abstract triggers, there are also some grounded more firmly in reality by their physicality. Makeup, shampoo, even nail clippers, are all self-improvement tools activated by the human body. There are also locations associated with the aforesaid improvement, gyms, spas, hairdressers, beauty salons… Now, what happens when such a site is translated to the digital world, how is the physical act of self improvement transformed within the artificial space, where the human figure is obliterated?
Abigail Fletcher-Drye is exploring just that with her series of video works. Asking the viewer to question the role of spaces and their metaphysical integrity in an age of virtual reality. We’re faced with a number of spellbinding moving images with rippling surfaces, as if she’s managed to print onto the surface of the ocean. They provide distorted windows into the world which has she has created, full of products and catchphrases one might find at a physical transformation site. In addition to being a window that one is looking into, the films are also appropriately positioned on what appears to be some sort of cloth. An object whose purpose is to wipe a surface clean, to provide clarity, similar to what we see upon them, despite their initial, misshapen appearance.
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Abigail Fletcher-Drye works across varying modes of production comprising: video, installation, painting and ceramics with a substantial foundation in drawing. She is interested in the physical potential and limitations of the mediums, utilising the tension in the contrasting formal processes to consider dialogues between reality and its virtual partner.
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