At the end of my second year, I was very lucky to be awarded a very generous sum of travel money towards a trip I was planning to New York. There was one artist on display that I particularly wanted to see – Doris Salcedo. Nearing the end of my second year, I realised that my artwork was very process / concept based and didn’t have much meaning behind it. I wanted to raise issues within my artwork and for it to have a greater purpose that itself. Like works within minimalism, I wanted my work to be less self-important and to carry a greater sense of experience and meaning.

My reason for going to see Doris Salcedo’s work, is because I felt that being able to experience her sculptures up close and read about the stories that inspired the works might help me to understand how my work can be more connected with the world and current issues.

Doris Salcedo’s sculptures are deeply poetic. She “uses and transforms everyday objects, familiar objects into metaphoric vessels that materialise the workings of memory and paradoxically represent absence.” Her works made me feel loss, and grief. They were hauntingly meaningful, silent, cold and laboriously crafted.

In equal measure poetic and political.


‘A Flor de Piel’ 2014 is a tribute to a nurse who was tortured to death in Columbia. Her body parts were never recovered. Salcedo has preserved, and painstakingly sewn together all the rose petals, which, spread out over the entire floor of the gallery, has the haunting appearance of frayed skin – materialising unspeakable pain.


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