Tramp Stamps

Carved jade pieces on a shelf

1.1 x 0.3 x 0.1m

I spent 4 months living in Shanghai as Swatch watches artist in residence. It was here I came across Chinese seals. These are used to sign documents but are also a highly collectable art work in their own rite. I learnt how to carve the stone using traditional techniques, and purchased many pieces. These small blank pieces of stone are sold especially for hand crafting these stamps, but I repurposed them into my own art work.

The stamps I made using this carving technique play with the idea of a “tramp stamp”. A Tramp Stamp is a derogatory term referring to a tattoo which a women places on her lower back. These tattoos have a socially constructed connotation associated with them.

My stamps show the invented contents of a woman bag who has one of these tattoos.

The carved stone depicts items such as pregnancy tests, drugs, cigarettes and condoms , fusing ancient tradition with contemporary objects.