‘New Translations From The Mothership’ by Jacky Lloyd - Art Times
In a counterposing and intervening act toward society’s seemingly compulsive pursuit of progress, at any cost, Lloyd embarks on a delicate and resonant exploration of the human journey in her new body of work. Her title, New Translations From The Mothership is a reference to the periodic new translations historically made to replace outdated and defining narratives: the Bible, South African Constitution etcetera.
Engaging with various intricate facets that have come to represent the contemporary manifestation of human societies, she confronts the concepts that have so adversely driven our collective consciousness. The various works reference genetic intervention, environmental destruction, social and habitat disintegration resultant in the refugee crisis, and ultimately the proposed idea for colonising other ‘habitable’ planets as our own begins to crucially unravel.
The works are presented in two formats: three-dimensional, ship-like structures and bas-relief portraits, each an aspect, and dimension of the other. With these analogies presented as intertwined threads, the viewer is challenged to untangle and re-examine their own participation in the larger narrative.
Making wide use of metaphor, Lloyd builds conversations with the viewer that is not only present at face value but stimulate reasoning and cognition on a metaphysical level – urging one to consider the concepts of being, purpose, origin, identity, and causality. In highlighting this, a sobering engagement is had regarding the overt indifference that is cast upon intrinsic feminine values. These are values which if returned to a position of balance and influence, would inject an urgently needed re-vitalising, ethical and nurturing force to environmental and social engagement. From this, Lloyd elicits and demands this critical shift in ethical reasoning, moving to rectify the narratives surrounding our origin and purpose – whatever that origin and purpose may be.
Lloyd presents the viewer with ships as analogies for body and bearer, which carry the political, personal and spiritual narratives of humanity through history. Embellished with various elements and themes, each represent a particular narrative, purpose and value. These metaphorical conversations are furthered through intimate relief-portraiture and personal accounts of various “ordinary” South African artists, writers and professionals who she admires. These individuals each representing a metaphorical vessel in their own right, being front-runners in spirit for the necessary change in the pivotal conversations and mind-shifts required to counteract the self-destructive inclinations of society.
It is undeniably pivotal to the work that Lloyd employs raw, life-like materials: the semitranslucent marble, blood red ironstone and idiosyncratically expressive sticks all serve to re-iterate the vulnerable nature of all living beings. They breathe new life and tangibility into the broader narratives that surround our current news feed. The marble is poised as soft, sheer and textured skin, shaped as metaphor and poised in our stead, whilst the ironstone and wood act as deeper spiritual infusions of living, breathing life.