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Stacey Guthrie
Stacey Guthrie
Stacey Guthrie
Stacey Guthrie

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I often say, when asked to produce an artist statement, that I make art so I don't have to talk about it. This flippant off-hander actually contains more truth than humour. I am passionate about art as a type of shorthand, communicating experiences and messages in distilled form, removing the need for words but not excluding or denying them. As a result I am ambivalent about artist statements. I understand their role but would much rather make a piece of art to explain what I mean. I feel that words can limit and contain an experience whereas art is fluid and open, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions and own their responses.

In the same way, I delight in humour and its ability to cross boundaries and condense a vast array of subject matter, whilst conversely opening up and diffusing sometimes-difficult subject matter in a way in which people do not feel threatened or uncomfortable.

There is no overtly feminist intention to my work but as I am dealing with my own story as a woman, it becomes unavoidably and inextricably tangled with the stories of other women. This excites me and I enjoy the sense of connection that occurs when others engage with my work. Despite the surreal and bizarre nature of the videos people seem to find a common bond between their own experiences and what I am portraying on screen and this gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

I am a compulsive maker and I enjoy watching the things I make come to life in the videos I use them in. I feel that using them in this way creates a narrative, which the audience can sense. The audience also applies their own meaning to the work, and these layers of meaning become part of the fabric of the work until the original meaning may, in fact, become the least important.

I am a woman who does not meet societal expectations of "femininity" and how women "should" behave. I am transgressively large and bold and I am compelled to create carnivalesque characters that verge on the grotesque; characters that behave in ways that temporarily suspend the social order and invite us to fully share their madness; exploring the power of hysteria. In this way I seek to poke a tongue at society and its outdated paradigms.

Overall, the videos are my attempt to create a liminal space for these characters to reside in that is both real and unreal, creating a tension, which makes for a sense of peril and fecundity; an ultimately creative space where belief can be suspended and magic can happen.

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