Moving around Ali Darke’s sculptural installations reveals the landscapes, inhabitants and dramas of an inner world. She is studying for a Professional Doctorate in Fine art at the University of East London. Inspired by her research in psychoanalytical and philosophical enquiry, her creative process confronts the subjective, fluid and infinite space of the mind with the limits of objective representation. Ali’s recent work takes the rituals and mythologies of the family and home as imagery and metaphor. In resurrecting found objects alongside newly created material, trusting free association and serendipity to make connections, she suggests new narratives and discovers that which is uncannily familiar. This reflects the distorting filter of memory when recalling past events, the unconscious slippage, exposing the emotional and psychological workings of the mind as it confronts the reality of the world.
She is exploring a transitional space between fantasy and reality, the wellspring of the imagination, a liminal hinterland littered with the residue of lived experience. It is the meeting place, the confluence of an ebb and flow of external and internal perception, each playing on the other. There is the potential in the alchemy of this exchange for pathology, healing and creativity to evolve and the metamorphosis of ever shifting and elusive identities. Here we encounter the other, with objects and things and the nature of our dreams, fantasy and nightmare.