Elizabeth Fearon

Homo Sapiens
Gallery With White, Seoul
May, 2006

Artist Statement

Over the past decade my work has explored the role of the individual as a maintainer and a transgressor of societal norms and values.  This exploration has employed many different kinds of media, from photocopy multiples to sculptural installation and video. 

My work, The Watering Hole, is a sculptural installation with a time-based element.  This work is comprised of one MDF plinth (dimensions 120X120X107cm), an Asian squat toilet partially filled with water, and many hand carved soap animals.

The animals are arranged upon the surface of the plinth as though they are journeying toward the toilet.  During the course of an exhibition, one soap animal from the group will be placed in the water each week. 

This sets up a minimal narrative structure that is intended to explore the relationship between what we need to sustain ourselves and what can potentially harm us, and our own passive witnessing of the demise of others as they make contact with what we seek. 

In my most recent work Crosswalk, I am again using animal surrogates hand-carved from soap, and placing them on a drawn depiction of a crosswalk.  This work’s intention is to explore how human animals move through, and are confined by, the constructs of our society, specifically the modernist grid. 

In these work, lions are approximately the same size as seals or beavers. This play of scale is important. It establishes a break from the hierarchies of power (food chain) inherent to “real” animals. This manipulation transposes the miniatures from the service of depicting the “real” animal kingdom and allows the soap animals to act as characters.

Through working with animal images as human surrogates, I believe my work has found a new entrance point for the viewer.  I look forward to continuing these motifs and my exploration of this medium.

Elizabeth Fearon
May 3, 2006.