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Artist talk with Ty Locke 

'Plant Inside a Chair', 2021

Wooden chair, soil, plastic plant pot, plant

140x53x50 cm 

Tell us about yourself. 

I’m Ty, a 24-year-old queer artist living and working in Margate. I've lived in Kent my whole life but recently started an MFA in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. I create absurd, playful sculpture that has a subtle social commentary.

Where did your passion for art begin?

Ever since I was a child, I looked at objects with innocent curiosity; taking things apart to see how they work. I figured out my surroundings by getting my hands on things and testing their boundaries.


I am severely dyslexic and art was the first subject I was naturally gifted at in school. I've been hooked ever since. 


How would you describe your work to someone?

I create sculptures out of mundane, everyday objects, typically in a light hearted playful manner.

'About 2500 PoundLand Carrier Bags', 2020 

Plastic bags

60x48x20 cm

What are you currently working on?

I have just finished a huge project called 'Domestic Bliss' where I hosted an exhibition in my flat. All of the work responds to my relationship with my living space. Now that is over, I feel some changes happening in my practice that I am excited to explore! 

My course at the Slade resumes in March as I interrupted my study for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The plan is to keep exploring and developing my practice to prepare for Slade. The making never stops.


'Carpited Chair', 2021 

Wooden chair, leather, carpit, staples

82x52x48 cm

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?

I improvise. My best work is made when I let my subconscious take over. I am constantly on the lookout for new objects; someone on Facebook selling 3 bathroom sinks for £10 or, finding an old wooden ladder in a skip. Once I have the object, I obsess until I find a way to apply my absurd logic to it. Three-bathroom sinks is such an exciting problem for me! I'm constantly agonising over all of these objects. This is why I'm a prolific maker... 

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

I'm constantly looking at art, in exhibitions and online. Instagram is probably my biggest source of art intake. Every time I find an Instagram post inspiring, I save it. This gives me a chronological history of every post I've found inspiring. 

Tom Friedman is also a huge inspiration of mine, I love Cornelia Parker, Rachel Whiteread, Monika Sosnowska, Damien Ottega among others. 

I am also influenced by the conversations I have with people about my work, even if they’re not artists or have any interest in art. Through discussing my work with many people I pick out all the little golden nuggets of feedback and apply it to further sculptures. 


'Nailed Hammer', 2020

Resin handle, stainless steel, steel nail

46x33x10 cm 


'Floppy Broom', 2020

Wooden broom, nylon string 


What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I have been shortlisted for the RA summer show, I have two sculptures in the Turner Contemporary show this winter in Margate and I have a show coming up this month in Folkestone. The rest of my time I will be continuing to make art. Maybe even some writing, who knows.

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