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Miriam Baynes

Born in United Kingdom. Lives in: MANCHESTER
Manchester Metropolitan University

My recent work is based on the folklore story of the selkie; a mythological skin shedding creature living as both human and seal. I have played with the tales’ underlying premises of restriction, dual identity and social roles. I believe the story echoes my own belief that at some time we all feel restricted within our own bodies or social standing. The concept of escapism in a double life reflects our innate craving of being temporally released from our usual confined existence. I chose to highlight these matters by making wearable yet restrictive bodily adornments that blur the line between humanity and the 'other’.

Artist photo

Artist Picture

Work of art I would like to make

I would like to collect and collate 'Missing Cat' notices and curate them into a research art piece displaying photography and collage. Whilst it would further my investigations into the links between humans and animals - building on the theme of ensnarement and love of the selkie story - it highlights the strange, unspoken, unreciprocated partnership we imagine with our pets. The final piece would ideally culminate in an online database of lost cats, in a match-maker, lonely hearts style aggregator, with the potential to explore endurance through a performance piece where I channel my inner lost cat.

The nature of the 'Missing Cat' notice reduces a relationship down to a photograph and emphasises what the owner believes to be the most important aspect of their feline, and shows the contrast between human nature and that of animal instinct. The fact that they have become such a mundane part of everyday life (to the point where most people don't pay any attention to the notices, regardless of whether they've seen a stray cat or not) only adds to the sombre tone - especially given the effort and heartbreak behind each poster.

My Artworks (5)

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