Sculpture, 64 cm x 96 cm, materials : Easiflow 100, talc, slate powder, dye, MDF.
Sally de Courcy's practice uses the casting process to make many repetitions of objects. These objects, which relate metaphorically or literally, are hidden within an abstract arrangement. As the viewer recognizes the contextual links between the objects, a narrative is revealed.
After working in a refugee camp she is interested in human rights and much of her work stands for those who are dehumanized as a result of atrocities that occur in war and terrorism. History, like her work, repeats itself and the philosophical reasons for this repetition of violence have been a major part of her research and this extends her focus on repetition.
Judith Butler’s books 'Precarious Lives' and 'Frames of War' and the concept that some people are treated as less than human or “walked over” by others has, together with her own past experience, inspired Sally's recent series of work.
She has used modern bodily objects, such as bones, sex toys, weapons and children’s toys. These are used metaphorically to represent different aspects of war atrocities (as in the UN and UK House of Lords definitions).
After Emily Hobhouse was based on a Winchester rifle from a museum archive that had belonged to a Boer soldier 'Eloff' who in 1900 was sent to put down the siege of Mafeking in South Africa during the Boer war between the British and the Boer people.
The British ran 45 concentration camps in South Africa that were responsible for the deaths of 28,000 Boer women and children, and 20,000 Africans. Over 326,000 horses also died. A British woman, Emily Hobhouse, bravely reported the appalling conditions to the government at that time but they tried to deny responsibility.
The rifle and related metaphorical objects, representing those who lost their lives in the camps, are transformed into trinkets within an ironic, decorative pattern in Dutch Delftware Tiles. These tiles report Emily's ugly truths. The patterns transform into a series of cartwheels, reflecting the Boers farming heritage and the Delftware tiles are emblematic of the Boer people's Dutch ancestry.