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Making that remembers: close looking at the stickiness of materials in correspondence with a dissonant and in-between lived experience

How could the stickiness inherent in making processes remember emotion? Is there a way for this potential remembering to allow a witness to have an embodied experience of the emotions of the maker; and how might the possibilities of this catalyse new ways of describing cognitive dissonance? What role does language play in making and emotional articulation?

This research is led by two suppositions: that a preoccupation with making mitigates the impact of trauma; and that the liminal, dissonant state provoked by trauma is arguably the critical space in which radical, meaning-making of oneself and one’s lived experience materialises.

I am using a practice research method: experimentation, iteration, close looking, close listening and hand-eye coordination to examine artistic making through the lenses of material and behavioural science. My research focuses on what Ingold (2013) describes as ‘thinking through making’ and ‘frictional drag’; and the ways the neural, visceral, sensorial and microbial are in correspondence.

Through a forensic excavation of my own artistic practice – particularly writing and the sticky window of opportunity inherent during making of and with paper, pigment and clay in association with water – I want to push the boundaries beyond the symbolic to find out if these materials can ‘speak’.

Key details

School, Centre or Area


  • London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Studentship

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More about Maria

I am a UK-based visual artist and writer, developing national and international site-specific and public realm projects. My artistic concerns are influenced by the scope and significance of common experiences. I am interested in the relationships between people and place and what is hidden, obscured or unspoken in various social situations, using these elements as a means to try and substantiate myriad lived experiences. Following a Glass and Ceramics MA at the RCA I developed a career in which working with other participants has been a key creative component of my practice.

The form my work often takes is artist’s books, print and photography and more recently the audio-visual. I also utilise my craft practice and make works with wax, clay, plaster and cast glass. I have developed varied projects including: “Where are we?” (2020), FrancisKnight; somewhere (2020), SEAS & Brighton Festival; edge/threshold/brink (2018) Nuit Blanche Toronto; Act, Campaign, Petition, Reform, Lobby, Argue and Soit droit fait come est desire (Let it be done as it is desired) (2015), Houses of Parliament; and a moment of your time (2013), People United & Turner Contemporary; and most recently, Watermarks (2021), Metal Southend - a new permanent work for the Thames Estuary Trail for Estuary Festival 2021.

MA, Royal College of Art

BA (Hons) University for the Creative Arts

Winston Churchill Fellowship

London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP)

Developing Your Creative Practice Grant

EUNIC Brochure, EU National Institutes for Culture, Brussels (2020)

public art needs the people and the people need public art, What’s the Point? a case for art in the public domain, UP Projects, London (2020)

Radical Kindness, Taking Care, The Art of Kindness, People United, Canterbury (2019)