As a younger woman it seemed I was considered interesting by ‘society’. I was well-travelled, a muse to the artist Robert Lenkiewicz, a photographic model and had a free-spirited party lifestyle. I met my husband and enthusiastically chose to raise our seven children. I realised through personal social experience that I had now been labelled as ‘Domestic: monotonous and mundane’. Assumptions made that as a Stay-at-Home Mum I would have nothing intellectual or any interesting life experience to share. I am a domestic woman by choice however it does not define who I am in entirety. Conversations with other mothers confirmed this as a common experience. Here I found inspiration and passion to create work. Artists ranging from Meret Oppenheim, Caroline Broadhead to Cathy de Monchaux and Cornelia Parker, stimulate my work.

Originally conceived as a study of the balance between family responsibilities and personal aspirations. It has provided me with an opportunity, to challenge, and contribute to change the stereotypical representations of the domestic role. It has created an ongoing investigation of Identity and the Gender politics of domestic ideology.

My narrative evolves through an alchemistic process and investigation. I actively explore and innovate ways to push the boundaries’ of so called ‘banal’ materials, so that the materials themselves hold as much weight as the subject matter. With strong themes of strength\vulnerability, function/dysfunction, support and sexuality. I am currently concerned with the idea of ‘Trace elements of the Home’. Sculpting in lime scale taken from heating and water systems and developed in my kettle. Inspired by the patterns of Victorian doilies of traditional conservative households, the motif of ‘Lace’. Contrasting traditional and contemporary techniques and aesthetics I create my dialogue. The process is difficult, time consuming and repetitive. It requires me to operate at the limit of my endurance with total devotion and patience, a direct reflection of domestic life.

Karin Jolly
Karin Jolly
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