Henry Martin: Tell me a little about your current work?
Miriam Austin: My current work explores the relationship between ritual, myth, ecological fragility, and the politics of the body. This investigation attempts to address the entanglement of privilege, oppression and representation that always already accompanies Western interest in “native” or “folk” religions and cultures, interrogating the possible links between local mythology, global inequality and ecological disaster.
Henry Martin: What is your favourite art work?
Miriam Austin: So difficult! This changes from month to month. I’m looking a lot at Ed Atkins videos and texts at the moment. A long term influence is the film La Ferdinanda, by Rebecca Horn.
Henry Martin: If you could meet one other artist who would it be (living or dead)?
Miriam Austin: It would have to be Louise Bourgeois – I discovered her work when I first started making sculpture at school, and it’s been an ongoing source of inspiration and challenge since. Her work carries such a strong sense of her intense engagement with her own imagined reality, and commitment to drawing on the unconscious. Her works always re-reminds me of the power objects and images have to connect us to different levels of experience, and challenges me to make my work out of the marginal states of consciousness which she so successfully evokes.
Title: Objects for a Mourning Ritual. Date: 2014. Format/Materials: Installation and Performance. Silicone, salt water, sea salt, fish skin, fish eyes, egg yolks, thread, lycra. Dimensions: Installation: 5m x 6m x 4m approx/ Two hour durational performance. Picture Credit: Alexander Page. Performed by Julie Rose Bower and Ayesha Tansey