Using quotidian objects as the foundation for their work, Lyon and Bustin's practices similarly evoke the mixed sentiments found in domiciliary settings: equally comforting and melancholic, durable and decayed. Together they celebrate the agency and strength granted in self-actualization by means of owning aesthetic and sentimental environments, the ability to maintain, preserve and reinvent the container of personal experience. The works featured not only encompass time, memories and human sensation but also access a certainty of selfhood in the particularly gendered territory of the home.
Lyon and Bustin employ methodologies of the emotional labor owed to materials closely connected to shared biographies combined with the physical labor of thoughtful creation. Ashley Lyon’s sculptures are detailed replicas of objects inherently soft in nature with heightened tactile and wistful character; they are meticulously copied into ceramic material, converted into something solid yet easily damaged. During the meditative experience of looking at and delicately crafting these familiar possessions, the tenderness and warmth of home is embedded. Lyon’s duvets, mattresses and floor tiles expand the location of where corporal sensation remains, they oscillate between atemporal representations of everyday items and uncanny beings striving toward the realism found within the storytelling of their unique marks and textures.
Jane Bustin combines traditional and contemporary materials, exploring the dichotomy between their abstract minimalist composition and the sentimental qualities of ceramic, textiles and found objects. Concerned with deconstructing the formal components of abstraction, she considers the properties and arrangement of materials, extending the link between craft, concept and movement. Bustin likens her grandmother’s laundering, baking and crocheting routines to the type of diligence she applies as an artist; folding, flattening and rolling until the organic is contained. The pale tones, reflective surfaces and intuitive organization prompt a tenderness and familiarity reminiscent of a bedroom vanity, a micro space of solace within the home. The artists maneuver a relationship between the object’s ontology and their transformation into vehicles of psychological projection; a parallel to the work’s intimate development in the studio against their perceptive contextual availability in the gallery.
Modern Domestics asserts the complexity of emotional security found in the home and the histories amassed in objects of comfort, those of the life interior. The work affirms domesticity as a uniquely feminine domain, a beacon of safety and transcendence from the transgressions of modernity. Although aware of its unequivocal hybridity with fragility and temporality, it is deemed private, everlasting and manageable against the volatile anxieties of the external.
Ashley Lyon (b.1983 in Palm Springs, CA) lives and works in Newburgh, NY. Lyon received a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Washington and an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from the Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been exhibited at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE; Hunter College, New York, NY; SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY; The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH; Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY and Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, NY.
Jane Bustin (b.1964 in London, UK) lives and works in London, UK. She studied at Portsmouth University, UK and Laboratorio per Affresco, Prato, Italy. Her work has been exhibited at The British Library, London, UK; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK; Ferens Art Museum, Hull, UK; Kettles Yard, Cambridge, UK; Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK; Copperfield, London, UK and Leslie Gallery, Berlin, Germany.