I was a teenager (around 1992) studying A level Art and Design when I made her. I’d sidetracked and located myself in the ceramics department. Not one to make bowl or ashtrays. (I was very into horror movies, gore) Recreating my dreams and nightmares was a kind of exorcism, I thought anyway. (I’ve since learnt, that not watching vile things all the time helps peaceful nights sleep) My Parents (They do like the nice, pretty flower pics though) never said much. They knew and I think accepted I was strange one.
I wanted to see how far I could go with sculpture in a kiln. Without explosions!
Margot was conceived in a dream. A nightmare. I was being chased. I ended up in an old building. I saw this ‘thing’ down a tunnel underground the building. In the dark, damp. It made a noise. turned its head and looked at me. terrified me. I’ll never forget that noise.
I created ‘Margot’ named after the wonderful program ‘The Good Life’ a teenage, hormonal twist of character, weirdness and unexplained inspiration (NO offence meant to Penelope Keith) The name just suited as it was so not what to call something so strange. A gargoyle, a sculpture, a thing to be placed for protection?
Hollowing out ‘her’ (Yes I call my sculpture a her, I made her) I made a removable head that could be inserted to the body. She is a big beast and heavy to carry!!
I love the feel of clay. Three dimensional playtime. Better than the Mop Top Hair Shop. It’s cold, wet, messy and therapeutic. You can get it everywhere. Glazing is fun. With a few additions of gore, tube props. She was finished. A symbol of the darkness that lies beneath in the back of the subconscious. Recreated in this world as a protective being.
I present Margot.
(C) Claudine West 2012
I have a fear of childbirth. Its known as Tocophobia. I’ve never wanted kids. I love my friends and families kids. Its the pregnant, birth fear. I’m just not maternal. My parents bought me the Alien annual and blacked out all the swear words (I could still read them) Having watched the Movie ‘Alien’ as a child. That traumatised me for life. The John Hurt Chest Burster scene haunts me to this day. I SLEPT with my comfort blanket for years held tight over my stomach to stop the ‘alien’ coming out. (Therapy needed I know!! Deep psychological disturbance) I became obsessed with the Alien Movies, insights, outtakes, books. Ripley my heroine. Alien 3 destroyed hope and made me cry. Alien 4 resurrected it. I Studied the works of H.R. Giger (a genius) his airbrushing technique never suited my art style. I found Oil paints. Bold, lots of layers, generous splodges. Expensive, but worth the result.
Can you imagine my excitement when Ridley Scott announced ‘Prometheus?’ I nearly had kittens. So very excited at the Cinema.
So Daisy. Another self therapy indulgence. Maybe I thought at the time it would deal with my fear? Maybe I just wanted to create something to make people scream. It worked. My Drama Teacher (Joan Lewis) screamed out load when I showed her Daisy. Offending people gave me a thrill. My Sculptures got banned from display after a complaint by the secretaries at my school stating Daisy looked like an Abortion. Job done. Then I remember getting all angry and ‘protesty’ about getting censored!! Hormones and teenage arrogance huh!!