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Sculpture (MA)

Elena Hoskyns-Abrahall

Elena Hoskyns-Abrahall (b. 1998) is a trans non-binary artist born in Edinburgh, living and working in London. After graduating with a First Class Honours from Camberwell College of Art Sculpture in 2019, Elena is now studying to achieve their Masters in Sculpture at the RCA.

Beneficiary of the 'Gilbert Bayes RCA Sculpture Award 2023'.

Selected Exhibitions

Upcoming

'RCA Graduate Show'  Truman Brewery, London (2023)  


Past

'Raise Love by One Inch'  The Crypt Gallery, London (2023)

'Wild Stone'  Van Gogh House, London (2022)

'Artfem 'Natura', International Biennial of Macau', Albergue SCM, Macau (2020)

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesSculpture (MA)RCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Ground, first and second floors

three ceramic socks

"My practice currently sits in a place of transition, finding and excavating what it means to be in progress or in the midst of process. When a transgender person begins medical transition it is almost as if they are transported to a point of adolescence again. Voice cracks, skin changes, body odour, new hair growth and more emotions than you know what to do with are all textbook for the adolescent experience, but pair this with choice, with wanting, with needing, and you have second adolescence. Where often there is embarrassment or shame, instead you find bliss.

There is so much beauty to be found in masculine adolescence, beauty which is so often skipped over and reduced to humorous stories of cringe. I feel strongly that through the lens of the transgender experience we are able to isolate and amplify those little pockets of beauty because they are symptoms of something that is so desperately desired as opposed to endured. It is my aim in my work to open up this experience to allow those who donโ€™t experience trans-ness to gain access to that view point. I want to show the beauty and vulnerability of being in a state of flux."


A cream tiled plinth with a metal vent on the side. Out of the vent crawls a trail of silver ants leading to a ceramic sock.
White ceramic sock filled with pearls, a trail of silver ants in the periphery
side view of the silver ants coming from the metal vent
close up of silver ant trail

Taking objects symbolising the shameful tropes of adolescence, the artist transforms them into objects of desire using precious materials and casting processes. A poignant juxtaposition of material and subject culminating in an esoteric vignette, playing with and heightening the nostalgia and romance of adolescence through a trans-masculine lens.

Medium:

Sterling sliver, porcelain, freshwater pearls, ceramic tile, aluminium vent
birds eye shot of gym bench covered in silver ants, ceramic sock on the floor below
ceramic sock being carried by silver ants
silver ant trail leading down to a ceramic sock
silver ants crawling from crack in gym bench
silver ants crawling on gym bench

'I need two strong boys to help me carry this bench...'


"Ants as a symbol have found their way into my practice initially as a sensory memory of childhood. The prickling sensation of insects on skin, sweat drying, hair growing. I wasnโ€™t quite sure where they sat within my practice but the more I work with them the more I am unearthing about their connection to my perspective on identity. Their relationship to community, fragility and relative strength feels incredibly fitting in regards to queerness and indeed transness."

Medium:

Wooden gym bench, sterling silver, porcelain, freshwater pearls.
a stack of plastic chairs with a number of small silver and bronze sculptures on it, underneath is a ceramic sock
ceramic sock with pearls scattered over it
Silver pencil
silver chewing gum
bronze chewing gum
silver chewing gum
silver chewing gum
silver chewing gum

"The pencil holds a double meaning, referencing a childhood spent sharpening pencils down to a nub for sport but also the phenomenon known as bottom growth. While a micro-penis is not usually a badge masculine honour, when recontextualised to the transgender experience it becomes just that.

The chewing gum references, more simply, the teenage act of hiding the highly sought after yet illicit contraband under desks, but also the intimate act of sharing spit, imparting genetic identity through saliva and impressions of teeth."

Medium:

Plastic stacking chairs, sterling silver, bronze, porcelain, freshwater pearls
locker vent with silver ants swarming around it
two metal lockers with silver ants swarming around the vents on the doors
silver ant
locker vent with silver ants swarming around it
silver ant on locker door

"The locker room is a space which sits between the public and the intimate with intrinsic ties to queerness. These masculine yet vulnerable spaces have been the backdrop to queer interactions for centuries as well as the more contemporary 'locker room debate'. In this work, I aim to create a space of quiet fantasy and desire. The heavily used and abandoned 'set' pieces converse with the precious cast objects contained within it creating a subtle dialogue of the forgotten versus the cherished. The ants swarm around the vents inviting the viewer to consider what sickly sweet scent draws them."

silver ants trail from a metal vent
close up of silver ants
close up of silver ants

"The title is a tongue in cheek nod to not only the trail of ants emerging from the vent but a colloquial name for the strip of hair leading from the bellybutton to the pubic area. A badge of honour amongst trans masculine folks and teenage boys alike."


Medium:

Sterling silver, metal vent

"I am thinking about being not necessarily in the middle.

Not really 'middle', but amongst.


What happens if you're amongst the detritus of growing pains?

Hormones and longing.


I asked to be and I am, isn't it glorious?"