Living Sculptures

Symbiosis: Social Experiments with Living Sculptures is a body of work exploring how an artwork and its audience can merge into one, in a sort of symbiotic relationship.

Through her research with scientists from the Universities of York and Sheffield, Tate Liverpool and Bluecoat, Laurence Payot is re-imagining the definition of sculpture, thinking about forms as living organisms rather than fixed objects.

“The material was a bit like a magnet pulling me in. I felt attracted to it.”

The sculptures were created with a group of artists with learning difficulties (Blue Room at the Bluecoat) with the moving and touching bodies of participants in mind – how the materials were held, balanced, worn. Suggested functions and ways of use become shape. The resulting objects appear latent, like empty shells, waiting for people to bring them to live.

In the gallery, people are invited to activate the sculptures in pairs or small groups, and experience them from a participative rather then performative point of view.