Sticky Friction is a presentation of new work by Rebecca James. At SHOW HOME she has used the form of a show home, an example home used as a sales tool, to frame the environment she has created. The installation comprises decorative surfaces, furniture and objects.
Rebecca James uses the motifs of makeup colours and textures in making printed fabrics, sculptural objects and murals. These works reference the application of makeup and associate the act of self-decoration with the decoration of surfaces and objects.
‘Decoration is a form of display and disguise. It can demonstrate aspiration and distracts from ugliness and insecurity. Architecture and interior design can signify power relationships and indicate cultural mores. I am interested in how design operates on a spectrum which at one end influences every day lived experiences, familiar objects rendered invisible, surrounding the dwelling of inhabitants. At the other end of this spectrum carefully considered, even highly specialised products narrate the aesthetic character of their owner.’
In Sticky Friction, James mixes frottage, manhole covers, cave painting, makeup and designer furniture together with a wide variety of decorative techniques including faux marble finishes, silkscreen printing, block print, tie dye and stenciling.
By knowingly mixing craft traditions with a feminist sensibility this work provokes a physical response to unsettling visual cues. The concepts of industrial manufacture and personal consumption coexist in the makeup used to create wall paintings and in the frottage of manhole covers used to produce a silkscreen print for fabric. These elements all point to the body, the artist’s body and the body that dwells within a decorated environment; which influences and is influenced by its surroundings.