Victoria Emily Sherples is an artist, PhD candidate and part-time lecturer at Leeds Beckett University in the school of art. Her research mediates on issues surrounding human imposed authorship of materials and contemporary eco politics. Often durational, her practice encompasses time-based performance, video, photography, scores, events and sculpture.
Her recent work includes Watercolour (2017–2018), a project responding to the unease surrounding the imperceptible materiality of microplastics, but also considered bodies or water, and geographic boundaries. It was an international mail art project in which ﬁve pieces of white A4 paper were placed on ﬁve coloured seas around the world – the Red sea, White sea, Black sea, Yellow sea, and Green(land) sea – to create ﬁve conceptual ‘watercolours’. Comprising ten artefacts – ﬁve pieces of white A4 paper and ﬁve corresponding envelopes – the project was the result of a 17 month collaboration with a group of artists and scientists from six participating countries, including the UK. On their arrival into the UK, mineral sediments and the shells of molluscs were detectable on the paper, but invisible traces, such as human pathogens and ‘air miles’, remained invisible to the naked eye. A microscopic analysis and XRF test was carried out to identify the residual matter in two separate laboratories. Victoria says, “Responding to Morton’s phrase, and the residency title –We are Asteroids – this placement gives me time and space to produce a series of new works that consider the profound impact that human activity has had on the planet, and the call for artists to act.” During the residency she plans to exercise an ecological, and ethical, approach to art making.