2022 Grad Show

Carmryn Carnell

AUArts Grad Show camryn_carnell_profile (1)


Taking inspiration from optical and cosmological phenomena, my work playfully ponders how one is shaped by space, and in turn, how space is shaped by bodies. Combinations of artificial, fluorescent colours with organic shapes and linework attempt to claim psychological space, through an expansive and curious methodology. The studio is a place where my inner child is granted permission to embrace her ADHD traits without shame or judgement. This is an ongoing practice, and its evolution is mirrored in the growth of my artistic practice. A subversion of normative behaviour and ways of being, the work asserts itself as an uncanny reflection of several forms of traditional art media, embodying my own sense of otherness in its material qualities, existing in an in-between state. Familiar conditions are source materials for the work, reimagined in abstraction, to propose an internal landscape which I occupy. Meanings form from my research and everyday encounters, rearranged, and recombined with whimsy and zeal.

The rules of show and tell

This piece is part of a recent shift in my practice towards using more fabric and sewing techniques. I am interested in how humour and heart can be conveyed in these mediums, using garish colours, tactility, and soft sculpture. What is sharp is actually squishy, what is rigid is flexible. Playfulness and soft textures use comfort as an accessible place of confrontation. Distorted patterns and protruding volumes depict a tension between organization and the disjointed. Fuzzy spikes and a fluctuating base disrupt the patchworked base. Tensions between the checkerboard pattern and disorganized volumes propose narratives through their collision. Referencing personal anecdotes through titles ground my ambiguous forms. In this piece, I recall a

Soft Sculpture Collection

Alongside my production of large stuffed sculptures, I have been creating smaller forms, narrowing in on a specific sewing technique for each piece. Working on a smaller, more intimate scale, has imbued these sculptures with their own personality and spatial affect. These pieces are made from pre-owned fabric and stuffing and can occupy space as both an art object and a functional, interactive cushion. It is my goal to continue exploring soft sculpture forms as a space between functional and conceptual, bringing awareness to how functional objects can be carriers of subjective meaning.


Knit fabric, acrylic paint, felt, yarn, embroidery floss, thread

A lumpy, stuffed sculpture hangs against a white wall. Dreamy pinks, purples, and blues pull apart to reveal a dark underbelly. Varying shades of green are embroidered, connecting the back and front of the piece. A map of lakes and mountains. Fuzzy bacteria. Mould. clouds. A journey in and out, with most volume and substance residing in the hidden space between fabrics. I am both a landscape and its most microscopic residents, a collection of coexisting contradictions.

Addressing the Me in the Room

pencil crayon on vellum

This work uses both sides of a vellum sheet, removing positions of front and back to propose an ever-shifting relationship with spatiality. Blockages, morphing of forms, and translucent negative space converse, alluding to expansive celestial phenomena. Illusions of light, colour, and line playfully ponder my subjective experience of navigating material and psychological territories. Through artistic embodiment, I am able to freely roam, without social restraints; self-exploration becomes a shameless, nurturing practice.
Photograph Credit: Vian Esterhuizen