Welly Fletcher

Artist in Residence, 2018

A portrait of a person.

Artist Statement

I build my work using visceral materials to communicate in body-based terms like weight, texture, temperature, scent, and sound reflection. Crafted using materials such as industrial felt, wood, clay, lead, steel, and wool, each sculpture offers a direct, physical encounter. My interspecies artworks investigate human-animal kinship and the body’s central role in that inquiry. These sculptures take aim at human exceptionalism—I want to shake up this long-standing socio-political hierarchy as part of an ongoing fight for all differently bodied lives’ right to be. Most recently, I have been exploring the diagonal as a literal manifestation of queer politics. I imagine my diagonal, leaning material-bodies as forming a sculptural field of resistance to the straight, right angles of the normative world. I hope this encounter leaves a viewer more physically aware of their own body, and through this, raises questions about protection, presence, normativity, collaboration, intelligence, resistance, and action.

While At Headlands

In reckoning with today’s political realities, I have been compelled to make objects that are not isolated, that cannot stand up alone—strong, strange material bodies that depend on other strong, strange material bodies to stay upright.  I see these sculptures as embodying queer ethics of support, interdependence, and strength in difference.

While at Headlands I will deepen this research and the related material investigations, tapping into the power of resistance in queer politics and what we can learn from our non-human kin as well.  In the studio, I will be developing drawings and small-scale sculptures for several new series of related works: Steel Feather Shields, Shields for Queer Kin, and Totems for Diagonal Resistance.