HUMAN HAMSTER WHEEL

For my degree show at Chelsea, I created a wheel that moves when members of the public walk inside it.  

My art work captures the unique bond between myself and my twin; unity in an endless circle. Although you can choose to move the wheel in opposing directions and reveal two different sentence, it exists as one solid unit requiring 2 people interact with the piece; a perfect metaphor for the twin bond.

The wheel is 2.1 metres. It is made from plywood and pine, constructed completely by hand.

 

 

The text around the outside:

1. SO I AM WE WE AS YOU ARE I

2.YOU PUSH THE WHEEL AWAY TOWARDS ME AND

Both text pieces are able to loop so on the wheel there is no beginning or end to the sentence.

The first text piece was created earlier in the course. It epitomised the problematic nature of classifying twins as individuals and a duo. I am interested in using ‘we’ because I constantly find myself using ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. I have found this to be a common thing to happen to twins, especially as the categorisation of ‘the twins’ instantly created a doubled existence – I and We become interchangeable pronouns. Therefore I am We. This text is a projection of being caught between the singular and the double : a tension between two which is also evident in the wheel.

The second text piece is describing the situation: the wheel is being pushed by someone towards another person reading the text. As the wheel moves, it is rotating towards the person on the ground and yet being moved away by the person on the wheel. This is described through the oxymoron ‘Away Towards’. I wanted to include an oxymoron for literary opposition to compliment the physical tensions and opposing forces of the wheel. I also wanted to directly address the viewer about what was happening when the wheel moves. As the wheel moves, it reveals the sentence whilst also revealing how they are seeing the sentence that is telling them what is happening!

Within both text pieces, different pronouns are used including I, We, You and Me. Within the structure of an unceasing sentence, depending on where you start the sentence you can use any of the pronouns to assign yourself. It can be any, or even all of them. This ambiguity is an important to the work, and gives space for the viewer to think about where they belong in each. Projecting multiple pronouns created the question: do viewers categorise themselves as part of a collective or an individual? This is the core enquiry in my practice.

This artwork has also been featured on a scientific programme on national geographic which was broadcasted globally.

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© 2021 by JELLIE.

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