Ceramicist Tamsin van Essen and design historian Rebecca Bell are looking at the concept of 'Once Removed', the agency of objects and the traces they leave or impacts they have as a form of design. Research case studies range from ornamental vessels used as tear catchers by Victorians and Romans; the mass alienation of communist gymnastics as manifested in glass mantelpiece ornaments; and the seismic waves of economic and ethical questions raised by a simple GIF depicting Black Friday crowds. The human cost as an often unquantified resource, as well as the body as a part of the 'once removed' process, is brought into question by all of these physical representations. The resulting imaginary and ideological spaces around objects are queried. The first articulation of Tamsin and Rebecca's research will take the form of Kiosk, a pop-up shop for the public to bring their thoughts to the process. More details to follow.
(Tamsin initially worked with Betsy from 2014-15 and began the current research with Rebecca in 2016.)
THE FETISH OF HEALTH: RITUAL, GESTURE AND OBJECT
(COLLECT OPEN 2015, TAMSIN VAN ESSEN & BETSY LEWIS-HOLMES)
For the Making Enhanced launch at Collect in 2015 Tamsin worked with Design Historian Betsy Lewis-Holmes on the reinterpretation of the domestic health and beauty toolkit, examining our psychological relationship with these objects and the fetishistic qualities they acquire. We explore the ritualistic and performative use of tools, potions and pills in the daily pursuit of cosmetic and bodily perfection, from the Victorian era to today.