I can’t quite remember how we found Milly and her rather enticing food now, she might have approached us via a Cultivate open call or she may have passed our way via her social media feeds and her Seduce Me cakes – that’s kind of how it works these days, if you’re out there and pro-active then your art is going to reach people via the various alternative networks that are open and id your art is exciting then people are going to react, somewhere along the way this year Milly’s art caught our eye – her cakes, her bold colour, her language, her visual noise, her everyday things, the art of crisps and ice cream…
Milly Aburrows has taken part in a couple of Cultivate online shows now and we certainly hope there’s going to be more, we do rather need to see her work and her colour in the middle of a physical show at some point sometime soon: “Milly Aburrow’s uncanny sculptures and installations of the everyday mundane encapsulates the correlation between today’s connotations of food – the slang and theories connected. Exploring foods social commentary. Scrutinising whether food needs to identify with superfluous associations and the person who eats it. She fabricates artworks engrossed in the sphere of consumerism – both materialistic and nutritious, relatable and ironic. The transformative, conglomeration of the spaces and the individual sculptures, create posed connotations of irony with these notions and objects, challenging the over arching patriarchy of Western society and breaking down outdated stereotypes”.
To tie in with the recent Mixtape No.2 exhibition brought to you by Cultivate, we fired to the Thirteen Questions thing at Milly. Once again, those twelve generic questions we ask artists to answer, as well as that special thirteenth one…
1: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
Hi, my name is Milly Aburrow and I’m a mixed media artist, currently studying a BA at Bath Spa University.
2: WHERE ARE YOU TODAY? WHERE ARE YOU MOST DAYS?
Today, I’m in my studio at University, where you’ll find me creating countless faux boiled egg slices! At the moment on most days, you’ll find me (again) at University, either sat at my desk, or in the sculpture or wood workshop fabricating my next installation project.
3: WHO OR WHAT IS EXCITING YOU RIGHT NOW?
There are multiple things that I am excited about right now! Firstly, I’m happy to be fabricating, making and experimenting within my practice, as it gives me a sense of fulfilment. An artist who is exciting me the most at the moment – who I am an ultimate fan of – is Lucy Sparrow, an incredible felt artist. She is such an inspiration for me and I recently had the honour of meeting her and seeing her most recent work ‘Mr Frieze’ at London’s Frieze Week in Regent’s Park.
4: WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?
I was born with Left Side Cerebral Palsy, and I never enjoyed any sports activities and felt easily defeated due to my physical weaknesses. So, I naturally started drawing as a hobby to keep myself entertained and it was (and still is something I really enjoy doing). I’ve always felt an immense enjoyment and satisfaction while creating any type of artwork. I’ve realised while experimenting with different materials for my artworks I feel fulfilled when successfully fabricating work from concept to a physical sculpture. Problem solving and finding a way to materialise my artistic vision to a physical work is worth perseverance.
5: HOW DO YOU WORK?
In many different ways it depends on what I am creating and the idea/concept itself – sometimes I need to draw countless sketches and plan the fabrication of artworks or other times I start experimenting and making for the outcome to materialise in the process. I find my work is so versatile, I’ll never have a definitive answer to this question.
6: TELL US ABOUT THE ART YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
I don’t necessarily identify with any artwork apart from my own work, as for me it is very personal (but can be portrayed as very accessible and relatable to an audience!) An artist I love and admire is Rachel Maclean, the saturated colour palette she implements within her videos/ prints which are divine and so intriguing and encapsulating. The narratives she creates through characters and visuals are absolutely incredible.
7: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
I find my own work visually joyful and full of humour – ironic as the majority of my practice debates and creates a distain to certain ideologies within Western society. When unaware/disregarding these associations, my work has a superficial quality – it can be viewed as playful and fun.
8: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
I am a perfectionist. I am never satisfied if I know I can do better! If my work doesn’t physically match the vision is my head, it is disheartening.
9: WHAT HAS BEEN THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?
This is an extremely hard question, and I’m afraid I can’t pinpoint a moment, there are so may happy moments that have occurred so far in my life – that I am really grateful for – that choosing a single one would be disregarding the rest.
10: WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
11: WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
Ummm, teleportation would be a lifesaver, as I hate travelling from point A to B.
12: WHAT COULDN’T YOU DO WITHOUT?
Crisps… I’m absolutely obsessed with them. An ultimate snack
13: WHAT IS IT ABOUT CAKE?
Firstly, I love cake – my favourite is coffee and walnut! In terms of fake/faux cakes – what interests me the most (ironically, as I myself have also replicated cake as a sculpture) is how this artificial reproduction has become a fad. Popularity and trends are so fleeting, for me the decorative cake has become a symbol for inclusion.
And finally, any future shows or events coming up that you wish us to tell people about?
The next group show that I’m apart of is ‘What’s for Tea?’ in December at Bridewell Studios and Gallery, Liverpool.
There you have it, a slice or two of Milly’s flavours, just a small taste, we’ll be back with more next year. For now check out Milly’s Linktree for her latest news, follow her excellent Instagram feed, find her in Cultivate’s Mixtape No.2 or Deflect and expect to see mo via both Organ and Cultivate. I get the feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot more about Milly Aburrows and her art…
Please click on an image to enlarge and see it all or to run the slide show