Framed :: Miles Mope

December 8th 2013


The word that comes (a little aggressively) to mind when defining Miles Mope is raw. His sculptures have an edge. Whether they be rough in texture, sandstone suggestions of Mayan-like figures or a paper mache seven foot man made on a budget of fifty bucks, there is nothing quaint about Mope.

Highly influenced by travels through Central and South America, the man’s gone totally totem. Tribal ideas infuse many of his pieces, exploring the relationship different cultures have, or have had with the environment. Others offer comment on modern society. The intersection between these two words he describes as ‘modern-day tribalism’.

There is something instinctual, stripped back and innately human about his works.

Take his ravenous recycled crabs, perhaps representative of our consumption, and its wasteful, inevitable return to the ocean? Or more positively, our human ability to make something out of what we discard? Whatever your interpretation they’re crawling all over the FBi Social bookshelf for your viewing pleasure.





We asked Miles a few questions and got a few answers in the wake of the installation:


Madeleine (FBi) :: You were particularly inspired by travel through Central America. Did you go seeking a new muse or was it a little more spontaneous than that?

Miles :: I guess it was a little bit of both. I had always been fascinated by the stories and images I had seen. I wanted an adventure with a bit of mystery, and that’s exactly what I got. It was also the year before the Mayan Calender ended, so I wanted to get over there before the world ended.

Tribal, primitive themes recur throughout your work. How relevant is the tribal to modern society? Do you think more primitive thought, ways of life and belief are alien to a modern audience?

I like to think that we as a society are not as advanced as we think we are. We are all functional members within tribes on a local and national scale. We compete with other countries, compete with other states, we even compete with our own neighbours, so in this regard I feel that we are more primitive then we think.

Sculpture is pretty much your weapon of choice, whether you’re working in sandstone or paper mache. Were you always a sculptural artist?

Making stuff with my hands has always been something I enjoy doing. My dad held onto all the art I made when I was growing up. He still has this wonky, creepy duck teapot that I made in year 7 on the window sill. It’s his most prized work of mine by far.

So we’ve got some really funky, angry crabs, made out of recycled materials. Is there a connection between material and meaning here?

The main idea behind the crabs was to try and create living organisms from everyday objects. Objects that can ruin the natural environment if not disposed of properly.

What’s next for Miles Mope?

Well I finally finished my degree, so I’m looking forward to chilling out for the summer. After that, I’ll hopefully find a mate’s garage to move into and start working on some new projects.


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