Cathy Wilkes
‘Non Verbal’

Cathy Wilkes, Non Verbal, 2005, Mixed media, Dimensions variable
Mixed media
Dimensions variable

The structure of the work comes from ‘Shes Pregnant Again’ which was shown in Venice 2005. I used mannequins and paintings together with the objects from Venice. These were all objects which came easily to my hand, things from my house, my everyday things,my pram , my tv, etc. Some parts of the work have made themselves over time,the salad bowls, the trays,..

So it came from a position that it was a kind of unexpressionism with objects , concentrating on my internal , private relationship with those things. The paintings on the mannequins are like reversed mirrors – so the painting looks, the painting has questions….

So then the whole work is like that. It has a lot of conflicting reflection.

When I made this work it was important to me to have a light touch, to move away from production, to only ‘make ‘ relations between and with objects. ‘objects’ being for me a way to say, ‘ anything outside me, beyond me, ...’ – something which becomes part of me .
The objects are toys, it was very important not to make objects, to avoid production and to show concentration and openness without further action( production) . To show a lack of making, Or a different way of making -( like waiting ( with the bowls and trays) , or playing) the work shows the objects as toys, it is expressive that they are intimately related to, in that way, as toys.

The tray is a sort of painting, a composition with objects; the tray and paintings mirror each other and then the painting is like a reverse

At that time I was looking at the idea of a readymade object as a kind of mystery of what is real. The object is what it is and it also makes it’s shadow, it name, there is so much in that which is mysterious – ...

The new parts of the work which have been added relate to the work ive just made for Munich. It’s like a very small overlap of the works rather than a return to the original work which would have been difficult for me to do and not alive.

So if you look at that work you can see….

It’s important that the figures are black because the work relates in a certain dimension – not completely and not as a representation- to old testament bible stories. It is very important for me that this is a part of black history.
The dolls in non verbal version are like that work. They are infants playing as well as being toys themselves, they are crowned, suffering….. These thoughts are all moving between them. They are playing by the fireside.