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Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Poppy Litchfield

Poppy Litchfield (b.1990) is a UK based artist working across film, food, print, sculpture and installation. She holds a BSc in Psychology which frequently forms the starting point of her work and informs her practice through attention to experiences of connection, ambivalence and control. Previously, Poppy worked at artist residency spaces as a chef and coordinator including Delfina Foundation, London and Headlands Centre for the Arts, San Francisco.

Recent showcases of her work include a screening as part of Tate Lates March 2023 at Tate Modern, sound work feature on Montez Press Radio and a live performance at Staffordshire Street Gallery. 

For RCA2023 Poppy is presenting her latest film, Let Down alongside a sculptural installation that navigate relationships between systems of production, ecology and desire.

Image of two green rubber gloves pulling a silver bucket of water out of a black caldron.

Let Down is a continuation of my exploration into the intricacies between internal experiences and the external world, focusing on social behaviours and the influence of technology within food systems and agriculture. The work examines these centres of power and their ecological impact, specifically within the dairy industry, reflecting on the dynamics of social relations in a technologically dominated world. I am interested in the transformative nature of food entangled with bodies, intimacy and memories. I explore this through engaging with rituals of care and nourishment and considering mother archetypes and unconventional forms of mothering from a queer perspective.  

Perspective and site are considered in the presentation of my work through a controlled or fractured gaze. In Let Down the use of framing creates tension for the interplay between seduction and discomfort. A transparent PVC curtain the audience encounter between themselves and the film forms a barrier. Sculptures, glandular shaped containers cast in latex, lie in corners on the floor of the space. The installation speaks to the theoretical and psychoanalytic influences of my work that reflect on transitional or intermediate states as thresholds that facilitate movement between the familiar and unfamiliar, serving as points of rupture and connection.

Let Down (Trailer), 2023.
Film still showing a milk collection tank with milks entering it.
Let Down, 2023. Video still.
Film still from Let Down showing a cheese in cloth being placed in a press sitting on a wooden table.
Let Down, 2023. Video still.
Film still from Let Down showing a transparent pipe with milk inside it resting on a red floor.
Let Down, 2023. Video still.
Three latex sculptures lie crossed over one another.
Containers, 2023. Latex.
Two latex sculptures lying deflated on their sides.
Containers, 2023. Latex.
Film still from Let Down showing the mechanical milking arm from a dairy farm.
Let Down, 2023. Video still.
Film still from Let Down showing a cheese being wrapped in cloth sitting on a wooden table.
Let Down, 2023. Video still.


Moving image & installation