A central theme to my work is that of the ‘home’. Home is a place where tensions of security are fought out, when comfort and discomfort, safety and danger, protection and threat all reside.
I am interested in creating a safe environment, an illusion of security, a distortion of that which is intimate and secure, in this way showing how fragile and vulnerable our existence is to change or to a sudden upheaval.
In Tall Beds, 1996 there are three steel beds each 3.5 meters high. Access to the bed is provided by a thin metal ladder. The initial impression is of precariousness. The viewer's/ sleeper's belief in an innate ability to guard against falling when asleep is immediately challenged. There is the solitary climb to a space, where one is not going to be disturbed, so high up and above familiar surroundings. Why the need for a deeper sense of security when one is in the home? The bed simultaneously suggests an isolation which results from placing oneself in a slightly dangerous place. The bed is enticing but generates a sense of vulnerability towards an implicit and unspecific threat.
By using familiar objects in a way that is unfamiliar, I aim to create an uncanny sense of fear, danger and beauty. The bed has become a focal point. It presents a place of belonging and safety, however it is used to create dysfunctional spaces bordering between luxury and illness.
Through the shifts in scale, my work often plays with size, exposing a variety of anxieties. The viewer alternates between seeing as a child in relation to the grotesque scale of the work to feeling protective of the miniature and implicitly vulnerable objects. In Hidden Witness this is a series of eight large photographs. Each image is an enlargement of part of a hand and has a small item of clothing, a skirt, trousers, or t-shirt. It is as if while some-one is looking at their hand they discover a small garment, signs of a hidden person, of an unknown identity. The white garment is there as a reminder of a presence that will not be easily forgotten. It is coming to terms with loss. The hand could so easily crush or dispose of this object while it could also offer protection or a temporary home. This reversal in scale draws our attention to the ambiguities of power within situations and relationships.
In Falling, 1995 is a wall covered with small figures made from polar fleece. The figures are curled and folded. They are tumbling and falling. There is an implicit sadness to their enforced solitary existences. The fact that they are so many does not alleviate or help their condition. They become like cloth wallpaper, content in their own self contained worlds. In this ambiguous state are they meant to be unnoticeable as they exist individually in their own reality?
I am interested in transforming environments to construct a ‘home’, to create spaces intended for rest. These are imaginary, distorted and unnerving sites that offer comfort that is ultimately deficient and ambivalent.
Permindar Kaur. Flexible Co-existence Mito Annual Exhibition Catalogue. Mito, Japan. 1997