'The series ‘Animal, Vegetable, Mineral’ 2007 grew from my observations of human anatomy as presented in medical and anatomical atlases that depict views of our bodies not normally seen by us. I became interested in how little we know of our bodies and how visually similar some of our body parts are to plants: root vegetables or cauliflowers!
Anatomical studies have been used extensively by artists over the years especially as reference points for figurative sculpture and portrait painting but early anatomists also made three dimensional wax models of body parts as teaching aids and these surprisingly durable and beautiful objects have also been inspirational.
More recently the imagery in my work has included enlargements of microscopic organisms. The work usually begins with what I think is an interesting image, sometimes developed from a drawing or photograph to a three dimensional form and scale which feels right. Often this will suggest the next object and a sequence is usually configured before all the finished pieces are in place.
The practice of building groups or arrangements has existed in my work for a number of years now and their linear qualities still remind me of the way letters form words or sentences on a page. Also in this more recent work the reference to the way specimens in collections are often presented to us is perhaps relevant.
Somehow the use of clay as the media for constructing these forms feels appropriate to the subject matter, something to do with it being such a common material that we are all connected to.
Angela Valamanesh, July 2007