RESTRAIN/RELEASE concerns the separating process between two people in a relationship. It references the tensions inherent in this separation - pulling apart from each other - yet still inextricably joined by the bond between them. The departure point for this work was my position as parent releasing a son into young adulthood. Many years nurturing through childhood and teenage years reached a new stage where stretching of boundaries occurred; conflicting perspectives and differences of opinion became prevalent, as well as the transition and question of control.

The two key elements of this work are rubber and the rubber stamp. The materiality of rubber is inherently elasticity and durability: it hints at the characteristics of a relationship. The stretching element of the rubber evokes the tension and miscommunication in relationships (letting go/disconnection/detachment – also referencing divorce, disagreement, disavowal).

The forms on each end of “Balance of Tension” evoke the rubber stamp - yet they also allude to the two people in the relationship. A see-saw function references both childhood memories, as well as to the balance of tension inherent to the artwork and its meaning. The rubber stamp is an image which denotes approval, consent, authorisation. These concepts are pertinent to the transfer of control – from parent to (now) young adult. In this context, I printed marks onto the surface of the rubber which suggests such rubber stamps and what they evoke.
The nails are an inference to parental attempts at ‘nailing down’ – with discipline, rules etc – while for the young adult, they hint at an endeavour to ‘make his own mark’ on the world. The nails also invoke the emotional pain of letting go and the conflict inherent in this passage of restrain and release.

Additionally, processes such as weaving, binding and stitching are all evocative of the women’s (mother’s) domestic activities as well as the interweaving and intimacy inherent to a close relationship. The prints are a digital extension of a series of monotypes inspired by elements and imagery from the sculptures.

  • Restrain_Constrain

    Metal, Rubber, Ink

  • Resistance

    Metal, rubber

  • Approved

    Digital gicleé print

  • Restrain

    Digital gicleé print

  • Transfer

    Digital gicleé print