Lucy Keatch

Bachelor of Contemporary Art

‘Yeah, you’re right, having kids is unethical’ explores the contested agency of nonhumans using installation, performance, ceramics and sculpture. The curated space critiques the human/nonhuman binary. It highlights the actions and sentimental lived experiences of nonhumans - namely plants, peaches and trees - looking to discuss process and critique the thoughts and behaviours typical of human exceptionalism within the Anthropocene.

Yeah, you're right, having kids is unethical [body of work]
performance, soundscape, fired raw terracotta, soil, peach seeds, wooden plinth, unfired white earthenware, water, fired glazed stoneware, fired salt glazed vase, fired raw raku clay, perspex, peach tree, hessian bag, fired ceramic pot

A seed’s home
fired raw terracotta, soil, peach seeds

Crying – but not literally – at the thought of saying goodbye II
performance, wooden plinth, unfired white earthenware, water, fired glazed stoneware, fired raw terracotta, fired salt glazed vase

fired raw raku clay, perspex

The body of work centres the connectedness of trees and their sophisticated communicative networks, challenging human-centred notions of intelligence. The installation becomes their “safe space” in which they can cultivate, propagate, germinate, flourish, die – in ways that allow them to exert an influence on humans as their witness. A space that strives to be one of refuge: the Holocene. The soundscape satirically critiques human exceptionalism in that while it claims to speak to nonhumans, the communicative form is still distinctly human.

Aspects of the work indulge in the parodic and ironic modes made possible through performance, combining the ephemeral qualities of ceramics with the hierarchical human attitudes of care, sentimentality and nostalgia. Performance enables a physical embodiment of agency, and therefore is the medium that most succinctly conveys the paradox at the heart of this piece: human attempts to subvert this hierarchy always inadvertently perpetrate it.