There are five core members of Dogma 19 Artists: Nicola Siebert Patel, Hamish Pringle, Joana Passos, Claire Michel, and Gail Theis who replaced Fio Adamson in June 2022.
Nicola Siebert Patel
I mostly draw ideas from objects found within recognised faiths which carry metaphorical weight. Fascinated by the human need to create something to believe in, I try to use appropriation with a touch of irony and underlying humour which I feel is required when dealing with this topic, as, by its very definition, a belief in something requires no evidence of its existence.
An example is casting giant lead prayer beads which cannot be worn or touched due to their size and being made from a poisonous metal.
The process of making is important to me and whatever form of expression that takes be it sculpture or painting.
I think of my work as 'gym equipment' for the mind. I make art out of attrition to exercise the subconscious, prompt historical narratives, and create new links. I use a variety of materials in my sculptures and collages, and many are abrasives. Sandpaper, with its rough and smooth sides, expresses duality, temporality, and possibility. I use abrasives to explore the process of attrition in nature, society, relationships, and language. This produces art works using metaphors and semiotics to trigger memories and associations. Attrition occurs at junctions where the organic collides with the inorganic; as people meet in love or war; when words are changed by usage, or juxtaposition with images or materials.
Materiality is the driving force of my work. I began to model several materials exploring their different behaviours. Throughout this process, I aim to find the materials' fragilities, what their physical and plastic qualities are and how they behave after human intervention. Also, it has always really interested me to understand the relation between weight, space and stability. My art practice is pushing the materials to their limits, this modification phase involves folding, finding corners, creating creases and new volumes. This process has evolved to a combination of two or more materials in the same piece, and it is being carried out in rubber, metal and cement. The choice of the previously mentioned materials emerges from their qualities, complementing hardness with softness, resistance with elasticity, and permanence with changeability.
Through storytelling, I explore the intricacies of loss. Drawn to psychoanalysis as a way to better understand the constructs of identity, I take individual traumas and human stories as a starting point. I seek the uncanny, the untold, and often involve the subconscious as part of my creative process. I also use dreams, childhood memories, and forgotten states as starting material for my work. I am also interested in revealing the cracks of life via a process of fragmentation and erasure. I represent the absent body through narratives and physical gestures. The absence then creates a heavy presence.
Throughout my life I have travelled extensively, moving from house to house and often country to country. For my first thirty years I never stayed longer than four years in one place. Because of this unrooted existence, my family and friends have been my visceral shelter and not the bricks or the country I reside in. I am a figurative painter and quiltmaker. I build layers of symbolism to develop a narrative. My work often draws from my early experiences and emotions. I consider my place in time, then and now and I paint memories and people in liminal space: the transition between now, then and future.
In May 2022 Fio Adamson decided to stand down from Dogma19 to focus on her MA in Arts and Ecology at Dartington Trust. One of five Founder members, Fio was active in our debates and created work for a dozen of our exhibitions. We thank her for her involvement and contribution.
In the light of the climate emergency, I explore how humans can best recognise the significance of their connections, with each other, with animals, with growing things, and with the planet. Being aware of this planet-wide intimacy I investigate why humans might be angry at the state we are in, want the viewer to recognise their emotions and discover the role of the artist in change.
Is the end of the Anthropocene and imminent extinction too frightening to contemplate? In case it is, I use humour, the quirky and the random, the harmony and shock of combinations and contrasts; a range of forms and materials, and differences in scale, alongside the diversity of made by nature and made by humans.