From The Waste Around Us

Naty Lopez-Holguin

22 March 2019

6-9pm (one day only event)

The Change Room

Often people refer to large causes, those of grandeur, which seem distant and unattainable when considering global changes. Meanwhile, many more achievable small actions could positively contribute if we were to look at our ‘habit-formation’. We are so accustomed to ‘choice’ within our consumer society – the latest phone, the glossier mascara, that makes us oblivious to our complicity. “From the waste around us” presents the low value, everyday in a transformed state, to simultaneously instigate associations and interpretations. Naty Lopez-Holguin’s intervention at the Change Room aims to create a pause for us to consider our everyday actions.

Booklet handout (*interview with artist Naty Lopez-Holguin enclosed)

About the artist

Naty Lopez-Holguin is a Spanish-born artist based in Portsmouth, whose practice focuses on material transformation, using the everyday to convey points of human experience, creating sculptures as both singular objects and multiple elements in installations.

[Q] What is the significance of tumble-dryer fluff in your work? 

I’ve always been interested in the discarded, things that others might consider rubbish. As John Berger proposes “we only see what we look at” and that “looking is an act of choice”. So I suppose my material choice says quite a lot about who I am. We humans don’t clothe to just keep warm anymore or for modesty purposes, it is part of our identity. These items we wear go through destructive processes while being washed and dried; the centrifugal forces tear fibres away, which then get trapped in filters and are no longer desirable. I am exploring issues of worth and value. 

[Q] Can you tell us more about the process of making behind your sculptures? 

The forms are influenced mainly by food packaging; the fluff is restricted within, giving a ‘manufactured’ feel as a metaphor for social constrains.The process itself is a very labour-intensive one; layers upon layers of tumble-dryer fluff, where the short fibres interlink, pulling as they dry, forming an always changing outcome. One work can take up to 6 months to make – I do of course more than one at the time …. but the investment of time is important. 

[Q] You used to work in clinical and scientific environments before throwing yourself into a studio practice. How was that like, and how has your background influenced your current work? 

Unfortunately, creativity is not always well received in clinical and scientific arenas, often driven by targets and hierarchical obedience. It was a difficult decision, and painful at times, leaving behind a reasonably well paid full-time job in favour of a more altruistic endeavour. I believe we are an amalgamation of all our experiences, and for me it is easy to tap into my systematic and methodical thinking when needed… Oh and I understand the true meaning of a deadline. 

[Q] What does the medium of sculpture mean to you? 

The creation of form …. though labels are a strange thing. Lately, some people have commented on my work’s ‘painterliness’– something that can extend beyond painting into other medium (Linsey Bull 2016)… using the materiality to create a psychological state, a way of transferring meaning and expression. 

[Q] What does the title of this project mean to you? 

The Change Room offers a platform to consider our behaviour, how small iterations can contribute to a larger cause, the need for self reflection and accountability for our actions. 

[Q] How has it been to work with the context of The Change Room,and especially with the type of space it is? 

It has provided a really exciting opportunity, not only thematically but also practically, in the sense of the dialogue with the existing features, such as the tiled walls or water pipes, and the restrictions on hanging.

Selected works:

Flesh & bone

17 Ø x 14.5 cm, tumble-dryer fluff, undyed sculpture

With Isola

42.5 Ø x 7 cm, reclaimed light cover and crocheted plasticbin liners

Who R U talking to

18 x 17.5 x 2 cm (each element), tumble-dryer fluff

Hand-held (detail)

8.5 x 15 x 1.5 cm, tumble-dryer fluff

Using Format