Born in Oxford, Freya Douglas Ferguson lives and works in London. Driven to undertake an interdisciplinary path, she studied Glassblowing at Urban Glass in New York in 2018, Sculpture at the City and Guilds of London Art School, and then graduated in 2020 with a BA in Fine Art from the Goldsmiths University in London. She exhibited in various art spaces in London during her studies, including the 5th Base Gallery, Anish Kapoor's Studio, and Central Saint Martin's. She was recently selected as an emerging artist by the New Contemporaries project (UK).
The artist has always used a wide range of technical skills with which she undertakes creative practices that are all seemingly interconnected. Metalworking - both forging and casting, is one of Freya's predominant techniques, along with glass medium. Freya spent much of her time as a student in the bronze foundry, casting her sculptures, and, more recently, she took up a part-time job at a blacksmith workshop. For her, artisanal and traditional practices are perfectly combined with contemporary aesthetics.
Guided by the possible combinations and the inevitable tensions born from the process, she creates a dialogue between old and new aesthetics.
Working with a wide variety of mediums and materials, the artist aims to combine historical craftsmanship techniques with contemporary ready-made, high-tech manufacturing components, technological scraps and disposable products of today's technology. Douglas questions the hierarchies present in contemporary art and visual culture through the manipulation of materials.
Presented as an artefact, Relic (Momentary Souvenir) appears aesthetically retrofuturistic. In other words, one of the most standard elements linked to the contemporary is placed in conjunction with the ambiguous armoured hand that ignites a sense of temporal tension in the viewer. The selfie stick does not confirm the medieval aesthetic of the hand that holds it between its fingers and appears to have come from some other era as it resembles something that came from space. The hybrid image that has been created appears as a futuristic cyborg that wants to explore the blurred lines between digital technologies and the organic body.
Text by Milena Zanetti