I have come to realise that, as we navigate the world of packaging, it navigates us. In this sense, the act of discarding a pharmaceutical blister pack is tied to larger questions about everyday human existence. For example, polyethylene terephthalate pill packets are not recyclable, they end up in countless landfill sites throughout the UK and India. I find myself responding to this environmental emergency, not through direct action, but as an artist who engages creatively with the quantity of medical waste we produce every day. I have been experimenting with discarded medicine packets since 2019, thus my studio materials come not just from pharmacies and hospitals, but also from domestic waste - it is routinely produced by myself, my relatives, and my friends.
And it is my own culture's daily use of ritual and sacred offerings which suggests to me that, when handled meaningfully, these disposable packets take on a significance of their own. Something is intuited. There are aesthetic and ethical qualities that exceed ordinary functions and human control. I believe it is the contact between my skin and the damaged plastic that generates an enhanced form of attention. Consequently, the punctured and buckled surfaces of blister packs have become my primary sculptural medium, and it is the sensation of touch that focuses and motivates my work.
I transform these tactile experiences into a visual arts language using a version of Marvin Minsky’s 'frame theory': ‘by changing the context in which something is represented, its meaning and our response to it also change’ (1975). With this idea in mind, I have developed a way of making empty medicine packets sculpturally ‘strange’ through recontextualisation in gallery exhibitions. In this public setting I strive to make my studio experiments visually striking and, ultimately, I want to create a contemporary vision of consumer society's intense relationship with medication.
Gabriel Orozco's practice has influenced my thought process to a great extent. He says, “It's not so much an imposition but a dialogue with what is happening. That is the most important thing, that through work you can help people enjoy reality and life with more intensity.”
'I want to question our perception of looking at things in our everyday life'.