Artist Statement

when small words made big worlds

2018-2020

This body of work, when small words made big worlds, refers back to childhood—to a time when a child’s developing speaking skills did not limit their expansive perception of the world around them. They just used small words—or the words they knew—to describe what they saw, and to playfully rebuild it into the places they wanted to see.

 

Now as an adult (a role I never auditioned for), I think about those childhood selves that came before. Where did they go? How do we mourn them? And now, why do we speak about my inner child as if she is sometimes there? 

 

This body of work is a ceremonial landscape to find where those childhood selves go in adulthood and if it is possible to bring them back. Built of many parts, objects appear mutable, as if staged for performance, play or ritual. They lean and teeter as if learning to hold their weight or after an acute seismic shift. Perhaps appearing toy-like at first, the pieces are punctuated with wax and wicks marking the scene with an inevitable demise, or the taunt of it. Transforming dry pasta (a frequent elementary school art material) into candle sticks, takeout containers into mosaic, and sand into shapes that don’t wash away with the ocean, I examine, seize, and warp time, memory, aging, preservation and resurrection. To understand growing up, a process that is different for each child, yet carries the same name, I build playful, yet dark sculptural spaces. 

All images on this website copyright Sidney Mullis. All Rights Reserved.