At Home in the Studio is a conversation between Spike Island studio artists: Esther Hesketh, Carol Laidler, Philippa Lawrence and Huma Mulji, in which they discuss their relationship to the studio, its role in their practice, and how it may have changed during the pandemic.
Esther Hesketh graduated from Art and Visual Culture at UWE Bristol in 2020, and is a current Graduate Fellow at Spike Island. She works with sculpture, text, furniture, and exhibition design and has recently been exploring pewter casting as an accessible way to continue her metal fabrication. Her current work explores the narrative of a cruise ship stuck out at sea on the edge of the horizon, the ferry that crosses back and forth across the harbour in Bristol and the pebbles that fill her coat pockets on a walk.
Carol Laidler has had a studio at Spike Island since 2015. In her site-specific installations, she combines words, performance, sound, photography and sometimes film to explore ideas surrounding place, narrative, and perception. Most recently she has been working on Chimera States, which among other things considers unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, the subjective character of experience and bats.
Philippa Lawrence is Principal Lecturer on the Artist, Designer: Maker Programme at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University and an artist based at Spike Island. Philippa works on site-specific projects, commissions and exhibitions. Her work pivots on material exploration, drawing out a material’s ability to carry metaphor and to speak of human experience. She explores the positioning of materials to mediate our understanding of site – a reactivation of space – and the materials she uses are context and research-led. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally, including America, Japan, Czech Republic, Canada, Iceland and Australia and closer to home Derbyshire and Shropshire.
Working with sculptural installation, photography, collage and drawing, Huma Mulji has an abiding interest in examining the specificity of place. Critically exploring collective memory, through material, form and a fragmented historical narrative, her works amplify a perpetual discomfort and scepticism from the perspective of both observer and participant, in the face of colonialism and capitalism. Mulji is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at UWE Bristol and is represented by Project88 Mumbai.