I began my studies in 2009 where my theme and passion for conceptual art began. Wanting to learn specific skills and understand how to manipulate materials, in 2013 I graduated with a Masters in 3D Materials Practice, Wood, Metal, Plastics and Ceramics (WMCP) from The University of Brighton. Since I have been living and working in London. My studio is based in Trinity Buoy Wharf and I'm a member of Trinity Art Studio. I create commissions for inspired individuals and continue to develop my practice.
It is my belief that materials of the human race have just as valid aesthetics as their virginal material resource. For this reason my work is focused around the human body's intricate materials which we love and care for, yet once removed we seem repulsed. For example hair; we spend thousands of pounds on our hair in a life-time but when we find a single hair in our food, we are revolted. My intention is not to shock, but to question people's preconceptions and explore personal significance as I believe ultimately, these materials help build our identity.
I began accumulating and diagnosing a durational analysis of my own bodies’ materials back in 2008. However, not until four years later did I realise my research had crafted a 'Body of Work'. Presented to the public, they found a natural curiosity to make direct comparisons and connections between themselves and my practice.
Using this information, I approached the public and collected their bio-materials in order to create artefacts that provided key times in one’s life. Through an intricate coded process of material tests I created the Placenta Photo Frame. In 2013, a media frenzy broke out surrounding the piece, bringing attention from all over the world and, although not intentional, it was because of this the Placenta Photo Frame became a sellable product. Since my aim is to create a sellable range of mementos which suggests personal significance and identity and continue to develop and exhibit my 'Body of Work'.
Please be aware that my work follows Health and Safety regulations at all times and has been assessed and certified by the Faculty Research Ethics and Governance Committee (FREGC) . I follow an ethical structure ensuring my work is executed and created in an appropriate manner.
‘Wee Ribbon’ is Amanda's own composite including crystallized urine documenting 365 samples of artist's own urine, one for each day of the year. The dates alongside each sample in the 'Wee Ribbon', have been recorded in a Drinks Drunk Diary identifying every liquid consumed. Amanda never imagined a waste product that we simply flush away could be so fascinating. Her lifestyle is reflected by the colour range and intensity of each sample displayed as a ribbon of time reaching over 15 meters.
Amanda says: "Through this self-documentation of my own body's materials I found there was a natural curiosity for onlookers to make direct comparisons. Many discovered key times in their life linking themselves to my practice which I feel suggested personal significance and identity."
BODY OF CERAMICS
"Even though hair covers 90% of our external bodies, we find a single hair in our food and we are horrified. By integrating my own head hair into a collection of tableware, I aim to question people's preconceptions of a material the nation is obsessed with." says Amanda.
As a sculptural self portrait each ceramic piece translates the exact measurements of artist's body from the palm of her hand, to the length of her foot. Her own spun head hair is incorporated in many styles via various ceramic techniques also each piece has been weighed and recorded so to equal her average weight, 7st 11lbs. Finally Body of Ceramics is displayed on a tabletop the same length as artist's body, width of her hips and height of her legs.
Collaborated with: Jenny Dalby founder of ‘Sheep to Chic’; Spinning yarn from the untraditional.
EAR WAX NECKLACE
Earwax is a secretive bodily material produced to protect a precious sense. When extracted it reminds the artist of amber, a precious and delicate jewel. Ear Wax Necklace enables Amanda to carry and wear this material on display in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Ear Wax Necklace was created using artist's own ear wax extracted over a period of eight months. Amanda says: "The chain was created by spinning my own hair and then plaiting it to resemble a chain. To finish it off the Ear Wax Necklace sits on a plaster cast of my own upper chest."
PLACENTA PHOTO FRAME
A Placenta Photo Frame is a functional piece that owes its unparalleled aesthetic and emotional significance to one’s very own placenta organ retained from childbirth. Formerly a source of vitality for the baby, the placenta can now be reworked by Amanda Cotton for its inclusion in a decorative keepsake and memory of pregnancy which connects the baby and their placenta back together outside the womb. If like Amanda's previous clients, you appreciate the significance of the placenta, you can find more information here.
A self portrait created from the dirt and oil which face produces and carries along with the makeup Amanda applies throughout the day. When removing this mask she questions; is this dirt of beauty? Portrait is a catalogue of face-wipes crafted to form a book telling the story of artist's lifestyle over a three-month period. Moments and memories are recorded through each page along with an appendix of recorded data.
Through the exploration of glaze Amanda's work replaces water, a fundamental tool in ceramics, with the taboo product urine. Each bottle is coated in the same glaze yet the top half is mixed with water and the bottom with urine, showing the difference in colour and texture.
Amanda says: "Via the consumption of liquid in a human’s diet I have discovered significant changes in glaze. In image two you can see a healthy water based diet shows little difference, however, a diet of alcohol and coffee has a dramatic effect on the colour and texture, making each glaze individual."
The shape of the bottles was formed with not only the test tube in mind but the bulbous section also holds one litre of water much like a full bladder.
Ready to find out more?
Visit Amanda's website for more details!