“Things You Need To Know”
Kirsty-marie is a conceptual ceramic artist based in London. Her work explores taboo themes, and their cultural, political and societal implications. She aims to draw attention and focus to issues which are often sidestepped or ignored and confront them through installation and sculptural ceramics.
Things You Need To Know is an installation exploring the idea of victim blaming in sexual assault cases, focussing on the portrayal of these events in the media and society’s responses. It opens a dialogue about blame in contemporary culture and its harmful effect on victims. The piece explores individual stories and experiences whilst in them in a war social context.
The tea set represents the individual and their experiences, portraying woman as domestic object and setting as event. Setting the scene as a tea party harks back to Victorian values and morals, and having the viewer almost forced to sit and participate in the event enables them to really see and feel the victim’s experience, allowing a level of empathy that is difficult to achieve through biased media. This experience causes a forced realisation of the insidious nature of victim blaming in our society.
Leaving the clay body unglazed and the objects bound by rope signals the emotional turmoil a victim suffers when being accused and blamed in the wake of a traumatic event; it leaves them naked and alone, thoughts and feelings tied and hidden away. The ropes can also represent the constraints of society on physical and mental healing.