Cutesy, feel-good figurines they’re not: one little girl has an eye gouged out, a boy is crucified on the golden McDonalds arches, and an anthropomorphized rabbit carries the severed head of a child. But artist Carole Epp isn’t looking to provide you with pretty little things to place on your mantel. Her fragile and diminutive works deal with issues like neuroses, stress and grief.
A Collection of Small Miseries presents such serious subjects in a disarmingly innocent package – that is, until you get close enough to see the details. Working with both slip-casting and hand-building techniques, Epp creates memorable and sometimes shocking little tableaus, nearly always starring children regardless of the subject matter.
“Through bringing the overwhelming and devastating nature of war, terrorism, poverty, starvation, genetic technology, and environmental degradation back to a dialogue about the individual consumer, I felt that I could offer more positive outlooks for pro-active change in regards to the issues,” says the artist.
“I found that I could use the expectations of the medium and the collectible object as an accessible entry point into the work, allowing for a non-confrontational or disconcerting perspective on the subject matter. I wanted to both entice and repel; and inspire a desire to consume alongside an awareness of the consequences of that consumption.”