Ifrah Sagheer

The Abject Desire

Ifrah Sagheer is a final year Fine Art student at Birmingham City University, studying within the School of Art. Their project boldly showcases ideas of abjection through several sculpted artworks. 

Fine Art - BA (Hons)

Give us a brief overview of your project

I create sculptural works that explore the abject desire.

The abject desire stems from the concept of social abjection which sees marginal groups outcasted through neo-liberalization yet kept within close proximity due to their viability as scapegoats within society.

As such, through sculptural approaches, the project aims to uncover how the abject desire can be provoked within the liminal spaces of the bodily familiar, using materials such as silicone and latex which have skin-like, fleshy sensibilities. The works often take the forms of distorted appendages that reference skin and flesh like textures to encapsulate the disgust yet fascination that is the abject.

Why did you choose this concept?

I've always been interested in the body and how abjected bodies can be represented through sculptural forms that are recognisable as bodily but are removed from the skeletal figure. These physical interpretations of un-comfortability that are often felt within POC and marginal groups became the catalyst of this project, specifically eliciting these ideas through fleshy materials that can produce a disgust yet fascination within the viewer through their relationship with the sculptures.

What processes have you been using?

I have been largely using latex and silicone processes. The latex process consists of painting the latex onto the sculptures in order to build up a thick fleshy layer often taking a month to build up completely. The silicone process requires a similar painting method onto the sculptures, often requiring up to a day to cure between each layer. Most sculptures are created using internal structures made from plastic tubing, clay or from ready-mades.

What do you hope to achieve with your project?

I hope to achieve a body of work that pushes my technical skills and ambition through scale and technicality.

How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?

It has pushed me to explore how to create works that are both grotesque and appealing which I have found is quite a difficult line to traverse as things are either too desirable or too grotesque.