Justine Hounam (b. 1967, London, UK) is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture. Her series of bodily wall hangings capture the physical, psychological, and metaphorical skin.
Justine is interested in our relationship with possessions and how they become an extension of the self. Furniture, although functional is chosen due to an aesthetic signalling to us and others, who we are and where we want to belong. Justine’s sculpture ‘entombs’ preloved aged and discarded possessions capturing the essence of what has been, she likens the process to ‘skin capture’.
Applying a casting process using DIY Acrylic paint and flexible fabric, Justine wraps and then unwraps found, given or her own furniture, to reveal a ‘skin’ pulled from its ‘body’. The contours, cracks and ageing of the furniture become interpreted as memories embedded in fabric. Often the furniture is displaced, broken or rearranged suggesting conflict/trauma associated violence inside the home.
Justine is also interested in the wider use of conflict. Her work can be seen as a series of territories seen from above, flattened and revealed. Justine uses the personal as a backdrop to ask questions about society and politics. This is coupled with her own experiences as single parent, navigating herself through the social-political changes of Britain from the 90s to present.
Her background in architecture, which she studied in the early 90’s is visible throughout her practice, with a keen attention for equilibrium of ordered chaos, echoing modern landscapes.
Image: Justine Hounam, ‘Desk to Table, 2021.