Caren Hartley at her best

Caren Hartley is an applied artist working predominantly in metal, with a fascination for the lives of familiar objects – especially those that are seemingly unimportant or have fallen from favour.

Following the themes of rebirth, simulation and object translations, she explores how a parody of the original is created when material truths and untruths are interfered with.

Through the subversion of an object’s material identity, she investigates how the physical marks of time and use can denote personal histories and object biographies.

How these marks change and distort through the process of replication is intriguing and she is continuing to explore how this distortion can give a false representation of the past, disrupting the object’s historical timeline, and hence our understanding of that object.

For this new piece of work Hartley has taken inspiration from the cluttered display cabinets and sideboards that can often be found in British homes – often a mixture of valuable collectables, precious family memorabilia and accumulated tat.

Captivated by rows of cut crystal glass ware; treasured and proudly displayed but often never used, as if its function has been lost to a by gone age.

Within Mint Hartley has created a domestic scene, a sideboard filled with a clutter of objects rendered obsolete by material and by society.

The multiplied pieces of ‘glass ware’, some metal and some made from wax in an ‘embryo’ state, litter a mirrored table; in order to create an intriguing parody of the traditional home display area.

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