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#NTUDEGREESHOW Spotlight: Amy Welsby

Our latest Spotlight piece features BA (Hons) Decorative Arts student Amy Welsby

The Goddess of Manipulation, Amy Welsby, BA (Hons) Decorative Arts 2019.
The Goddess of Manipulation, Amy Welsby, BA (Hons) Decorative Arts 2019

In the run-up to the Art and Design Degree Show, we will be sharing a series of student projects from across the 26 participating courses through #NTUDEGREESHOW Spotlights.

The Modern Retelling of Faith

I’ve never been one for greek tragedies, but the fables of the Gods and Goddess of Ancient Greece have always been an interest of mine. The beauty of Aphrodite, the bravery of Artemis, the drinking habits of Dionysus; these deities were key to my inspiration. Exploring the tales of these ethereal beings led me to question how would they fit into a modern society.

Would Aphrodite still be the most beautiful goddess of them all, with the current beauty industry equating 16 billion pounds annually, with social media influencers promoting weight loss teas and low risk surgery such as fillers or botox? Or would she wilt under the pressure to be the prettiest?

In my retelling of this goddess, Aphrodite has fallen. The Goddess of Manipulation rose - face cracked, gaunt appearance, beauty marks to cover the scars of many bad beauty mistakes. She reflects society's ever-changing look on beauty.

Artemis was the Goddess of the Hunt, protector of women and a sworn maiden. The new Goddess of the Hunt: a maiden no more. From hunting animals in the wild, to hunting men on dating sites, her prey is her date for the night. Horns perturbing her skull, weapons of choice? Most likely.

The Others, Amy Welsby, BA (Hons) Decorative Arts 2019.
The Others, Amy Welsby, BA (Hons) Decorative Arts 2019

Now Dionysus was the God of Wine, what could change in modern society? The Goddess of the Night is a manifestation of the party drug boom, her broken halo a representation of many blacked-out nights on the floor. Those haunting eyes and ever-dilating pupils from the constant high.

Seeing how I’ve manipulated these stories of old is a reflection on our imperfect society, and how no one is safe from the influences around us, and how it can lead us to ruin.

Through warping these ancient deities, I looked at familiar classical sculptures focusing on the V&A cast collection for inspiration of how to embody these distorted creations. The silky whiteness of the vitrified clay reflecting with metallic leaf applied purposefully to the main elements of each Goddess. Pairing them with poems, as many ethereal beings had prayers to give thanks in tales of Ancient Greece, I illustrated each with their own colour to match a zine of the same layout retelling their story.

Amy Welsby

Find out more about the BA (Hons) Decorative Arts Degree Show here.

Published on 28 May 2019
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Current students; School of Art & Design