Katie McGroarty

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I am interested in the intersection of sociology and art; the study of class politics, and employment of hierarchies within the context of art and life, frequently characterised by an overwhelming denial of such hierarchies.

Jean Dauvignaud wrote that where the sociology of religion had defined aims, and the sociology of politics had established principles and issues, the sociology of art "lags behind". In my work I attempt to challenge the hierarchies where socialist views are performatively held in veiling deep rooted elitism. I present viewers with stark contrasts such as the A1 “bad” art; almost goading the viewer to say that bad drawings in permanent marker on foolscap cannot be art, and in doing so, force them to reflect on the roots of this critique.

The use of permanent marker is a reference to the first independent creative endeavours of many lower-class people. I want to challenge the viewer on their conceptions of "art" by evoking connotations of graffiti and vandalism, juvenile delinquency, idle-mindedness and recklessness. In my time at the ECA I found that the myth that creativity was reserved for the upper-classes is conditioned into us at a young age. This is why the use of permie is essential in my work, as it highlights biases as to who is, and who is not, afforded creativity. “You Are not Invited” (2020) is the last shred of expectant emotional labour the ECA would have received from me - had there been a physical degree show.

My work is made with permie by a lower/working class queer woman artist in the post-industrial, poverty stricken, "Worst Place to Be a Woman in Scotland" setting of a council scheme in the Vale of Leven, West Dunbartonshire.

I intend to highlight that, in the current political and socio-economic climate, separating art from the artist is a luxury we can no longer afford.

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