Sheyda Porter’s ‘Idea Generating Machines’ celebrates the sculptural possibilities of discarded everyday objects as representations of the mundane world. Porter has an intimate, personal way of perceiving abandoned items, transforming them into aesthetic objects. The repeated gesture of applying paint rids these objects of their practical connotations, reducing them to their ‘thingness’ in order to redefine and reinterpret them. She creates the illusion of mere physical material without a history or a beginning.

In addition to re-using and re-purposing cast-off objects that are no longer needed to function purposefully, the artist is exploring the notion of art making as an everyday or quotidian practice, akin to talking, reading, shopping, cooking, and cleaning. French writer, philosopher, and literary theorist Maurice Blanchot describes ‘The Everyday’ as what we never see for the first time, but only on repetition. The everyday is a junction of different experiences and perspectives. It has a continuous circular rhythm, which brings together different varieties of activities and experiences. It is fleeting and permeable, yet perpetual and ineradicable at the same time. It is spontaneous and resists becoming fixed. Porter elevates these discarded objects into the light of astonishment, and reveals the poetic character of chaotic daily existence.

Sheyda Porter was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1986. She studied Fine Art Practice at the School of Creative Industries, Newcastle College, Newcastle upon Tyne (2013-15) and BA Fine Art at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne (2015-16) and is currently undertaking an MA in Curating at Sunderland University, Sunderland. She was awarded the Lim Ai Fang Art Prize in the Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize 2016, with an accompanying exhibition of shortlisted artists at BALTIC 39, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Read Rosie Minney’s essay Idea Generating Machines