Eden Dodd (They/Them)
Welsh Born (1994), Living and working in Glasgow, Scotland.
As a non binary person, I have found a connection with fractured states within my artwork; the space between planes of existence, of dichotomies and of the physical and ethereal states. Dualities, reflections and doubles are integral to the language of my practice – the other always exists within the self. Through the lens of queerness; I can exist in both this side of the mirror and the other, simultaneously.
Within my practice, twin dialogues between ‘the real and seen’ & ‘the unreal and unseen’ are of great importance to the core foundations of my ongoing body of work. Recent exploration into the ‘cultural themes of masculinity’ through a visual lexicon inspired by historical and contemporary culture has manifested in my predominant material; that of ‘the mirror’, both physically reflective, and conceptually. Tragedy, darkness and loss are key pools of inspiration that I regularly draw from within my own practice as they are a well that never runs dry for visual and conceptual material in this vein.
Exhibited Solo and in group shows both Nationally and Internationally, with work being held in many private collections.
‘Self-Punishment as Self-Deprecation’
Plaster, pigment, Concrete, Steel, dust, marker.
The form of the piece is a broken concrete baseball bat, moulded from a hand-lathed bat that is integral to my recent practice as blunt instrument of violence.
In therapy the other day, I spoke about my long standing desire to punish myself, for both the actions that I’ve taken as a person, but also my insecurity and hatred of my closeted gender identity. My first tattoo is across my chest, and I consciously chose this place, for the fact that it would look strange if I ever transitioned, so as to deny me the option to ever transition. I’ve always hated the idea of transitioning because of it; existing as a continuous denial of myself in pursuit of some ‘normal acceptance’, which evolved into the recent realisation that my work has always been about punishment (specifically, that of my own self imposed penance for my natural state of being, which I’ve hated since I first recognised it).
Scarred & inked words-as-chains, as permanently closing trap.
I guess, now, I’m trying to smash the trap itself – violence as an escape from self imposed violence, as respite from self loathing.
I’m a lot better now, and I’m taking steps to learn to love the aspects of myself that I used to hate; like an overgrown garden, I am perpetually twisting and evolving ‘in bloom’.
‘L.O.L (Lots of Love)’
Plaster cast of the artists forearm, red satin, white faux fur, handmade mirror.
Joy, punishment, severance 💉💔🥩
‘Conversations with My Father’
Handmade Mirror, Combo Boiler, Dried Red gladiolus flowers.
Pine, Fire-Retardant Foam, Plywood, Sand, Vinyl sticker, Steel Chains, Hand-Lathed Wooden Bat, Copper pins, Water-based Spray Paint, Padlocks, Steel-fittings, Shackles, Bubble Wrap, Duct Tape
‘Substitute’ takes the form of a large foam ‘topsy-turvy doll’ (a toy that constantly uprights itself after being struck) chained and padlocked to a hand-lathed baseball bat by a long steel chain.
Each object features a vinyl sticker of myself as a character reminiscent of a clown, fool and/or jester, and references the concept of the ‘jester’s marotte’; a prop stick or sceptre with a carved head on it. The word is borrowed from the French, where it signifies either a fool’s (literal) “bauble” or a fad.’
The two fools, one malicious (on the bat), and one pitiful (on the doll), reference the conceptual lynchpin of my practice, that of reflections and othering, as a way of darkly surreal humour. Relating to this, the piece is interactive and invites the viewer to ‘play their role’ in the theatrical aspects of the work – they act as ‘violent abuser’ in the conceptual performance of the piece at large; that of relived trauma.
The beauty of the piece is that it draws people in with the ‘play’, providing comedic relief in the act of play fighting with the doll, before the dawning of the fact that they are ‘aiding’ in the act of ‘beating myself up’ (self inflicted destruction, informed by traumatising experiences in the life of the artist) – the darkness, like boiling water, is just bubbling under the surface. Here, the act of violence drags the viewer into the experiential performance of self-loathing, and self-inflicted violence, held within the piece.
Drawing someone in through the proposal and suggestion of something engaging and therapeutic, only to pull the rug out beneath the viewer by highlighting that their ‘therapy’ is in fact beating me up (or at the very least, just a version of me made to be as ‘targetable’ as possible).
This notion of the ‘target’ was inspired by something my grandmother remarked on when I was home recently and had started to present as feminine after I had just come out;
‘Just, please don’t make a target of yourself’.