An orange blob is at the heart of Catherine Gittens’ socially engaged response to the Covid-19 lockdown. The Orange Blob Project is a socially engaged art project, facilitated through social media, which brought people together during lockdown. Those involved were encouraged to make their own orange blobs and explore the therapeutic nature of sculptural play from their own homes.
“The Orange Blob Project allowed space for me to personally engage with orange blob forms, within the domestic and garden environments and allowed me to process my emotional response to lockdown and tapped into the tensions experienced between restriction and freedom”.
In her practice Gittens questions how sculptural play can be used to bring people together and provide a therapeutic and transformative experience for those involved. Her work explores the uncertain space where art and life overlap allowing participants to contemplate their own physicality and human condition through the joy and freedom of play. She approaches her practice playfully and uses sculpture, film, photography, performance, socially engaged art and drawing as a way to process her material responses to the experiences of everyday life, spiritual and emotional growth. Her work often focuses on themes of transformation, faith, belonging, a state of becoming and the tensions between joy and melancholy.
Gittens has gained experience of facilitating socially engaged workshops whilst studying at Sheffield Hallam, with one of her Orange Blob Project Workshops forming part of The Origin of the Work of Art 24 hour art event at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She has been involved in multiple group exhibitions including exhibitions at Bloc Projects and the walking exhibition ‘DEFINE’, which took place around Sheffield city centre.