Tara Garden grew up in Stamford, Lincolnshire. She graduated in 2019 with a first class BA in Illustration and Visual Media from University of the Arts London. Her practice is rooted in the metaphysical context of human existence, focusing on the often abject state of the individual within a system which prioritises conformity. She creates prints which blend hand drawn and digital elements, drawing together the individualistic and the technological.
My work primarily concerns the inherent loneliness of the individual, existing in an increasingly dehumanised and oppressive space. The small worlds I have created occupy the no-man’s-land between what we feel able to share and what we feel obliged to hide. I hope they will allow viewers an insight into their own individuality, their own darker feelings, and to recognise the thread of abjection which runs through our shared humanity.
Twelve illustrations depicting isolated episodes of 'emotional abjection' recorded in my journal.
These evolved into a publication which can be viewed in the link below:
Medium:Hand-drawn and digital
Size:10 x 15 cm
I’ve elaborated on a certain element of my research into Freud's uncanny: the inescapable feeling of unintended or compulsive repetition. My theme of repetition led me to think about the operation of machines, and the perpetual cycling of energy from one form into another. The inescapability of being part of this constant cycling of energy represents, for me, a significant aspect of human life, particularly in a consumer society.
Medium:Digital and Screen Print
The factory has become the cathedral of consumer society, and belief in the power of machines a new religion. I find this fascinating, particularly the way it has spawned the development of a multitude of technological solutions for psychological or spiritual issues, machines like Wilhelm Reich’s ‘Orgone Accumulator’, which he claimed could capture the essential energy of life ('orgone'), and use it to revitalise a human subject. I interpreted this machine as a kind of abjection therapy, replenishing the natural joy which has been drained from people by the endless repetition of the factory system of modern living. This idea inspired lots of imagery of humanoid machines.
Size:70 x 70 cm
These works are based around Freud's concept of 'the Uncanny'. ‘Unheimliche’ meaning ‘unhomely’, and refers to what is familiar (‘homely’) becoming horrifying, the cosy comfort of our safest retreat becoming distinctly uncomfortable.
I ground my images to humanity by using commonly recognisable objects of everyday life (like the chair or the lamp).