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“Sheepshank” by Holly Lawson


I began studying art at Hull College's Park Street site, where I took a foundation course. I then decided to stay in Hull and progressed on to a Fine Art degree at Hull School of Art and Design, where I am currently undertaking my third
year.

I have interests in history, archaeology and preservation which inspire my sculptural practice. I’ve lived in Hull for 14 years and the city has made a strong impact on me as an individual and as an artist. Family is particularly important to me, and my mother also studies at the art school and has been a big influence on my life.

Over the past two years of my degree, I have explored an interdisciplinary approach and produced sculpture, painting, performance and photographic work. Sometimes I work with a direct brief and produce work that communicates a clear meaning and sometimes my work can be more ambiguous and engages the viewer in drawing on their own experiences to interpret the piece.

I have enjoyed the experience of working with a particular site in mind so that the location inspires or informs the creative process. I often start with a single theme or object but through the research process, ideas accumulate and snowball. I use a variety of media to explore themes or issues but favour casting and drawing as my main mode of investigation. Currently I am exploring sculptural processes, techniques and materials, drawing on my experience using a wide range of materials in the past.

My starting point came from Hull Maritime Museum; I found the forms of Maritime knots fascinating with their intricate designs both aesthetic and functional. The design is based on a Sheepshank Knot. Knots still have functional as well as historical relevance in today’s society. These forms represent connections with our maritime past and the securing of our future in green energy with the Siemens investment. I feel that they are excellent visual inspiration for creating an aesthetic sculpture, a three-dimensional sinuous drawing.

I have learnt to expand my exploration as an artist and that inspiration for artwork can come from a variety of different sources. I hope that the sculpture will allow the audience to engage with Hull's maritime past in new and less obvious ways. I hope that the knot will be seen as a symbol of strength in the city; creating a connection between the past and the future on this site which is in the process of being transformed. My hopes as an artist is to gain experience in working within an environment that is new to me and possibly open up opportunities for the future.