My sculptural installations 'risk' 2011 and 'Celebration' 2015 were developed after I broke several bones mountain biking and wasn’t able to work in my studio for a year. When I returned to making sculpture I found I could only relate to previous artwork by breaking it. I explore how and why my aesthetic preferences changed after experiencing injury, in particular the new element of risk. I reflect on contrasting experiences of mountain biking and being injured, the tension between the support and restriction of being in plaster and my alienation to my broken arm. Through this I question what motivates people to take risks, how our judgement of risk can change in different circumstances, and if the motivation for men and women taking risks is different. I reflect on the risk to the artwork and to the viewer and different forms of risk in artwork. Finally I recount how this informs the making of 'risk' 2011 and 'Celebration' 2015.


Dr Joanna Sperryn-Jones, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Sculpture Practice, York St John University, UK. Sperryn-Jones makes and breaks sculpture and frequently encourages others to participate in the process. Her sculptural installations are activated through viewers’ interaction with the work as they explore experiences of restriction and/or breaking. Her research focuses on experiences of breaking and draws parallels between personal experiences in life, such as breaking bones, with those of making/breaking sculpture, Derrida's concept of the break and breaking as a methodology. Her writing practice also involves breaking and has been developed from the ‘cut-up technique’ of William Burroughs.