Shopping List, Ceramic, Plastic & Limestone, 20 x 23 x 24 cm, 2015

S H O P P I N G   L I S T

 

A shopping list you find discarded in an empty basket is a snapshot of another person’s life. It almost becomes a self-portrait of a person you will never knowingly meet.

 

‘Shopping List’ is a three-dimensional still life of that moment, a portrait of the person who wrote the list. We catch a glimpse of another human being in the most mundane series of objects.

 

Still life paintings originally adorned the walls of the rich to show off their wealth. They reflected the lifestyle of the owner with the most sumptuous expensive possessions. Nowadays they are used to perfect the artist’s technical skills or show beauty in the everyday objects that we take for granted.

 

With a shopping list the defining choices of what a person consumes is laid bare. The subject is both exposed by their choices and shielded by the removal of living flesh: the absence of their physical being. The spectator can only be left to wonder about this character and the likeness they have manifested from the shopping list script.

 

This work questions how our choices represent who we are or how we choose things to push a certain persona or lifestyle. It also touches on the image we imprint on social media in these current times, and the truth behind it. There is almost a comical link between the paintings people in the past chose to hang on their wall and the photographs people choose to post in our modern society. 

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ArtWorks Open Installation at the Barbican Arts Group Trust. 2015

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© 2020 by CAMILLA BLISS