The Trophy Hall

Mary Watson

27th March 2017

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The Trophy Hall explores the nature of competition: how we invent activities to express our obsessions and how we use objects to validate our natural urge to compete with others.

Through a series of ceramic sculptures examining the ‘Prize’, I evoke visions of an award ceremony from a world not so far removed from our own. Recognising a range of accolades – from the prettiest teeth to the best milk chugger – the ‘prizes’ celebrate and satirise our self-conscious desire for validation and acceptance.
Ranging from the banal to the absurd, my work highlights the arbitrary nature of competitive activity and the melancholic plight of the peculiar contestant.

Pictured here is an installation shot of 'The Trophy Hall'. An ornate wooden throne sits at the end of a white room, raised upon a white platform with rich red velvet drapery hung behind, a ceramic crown sits on upon the throne. Mounted at various heights on the walls on either side of the throne are various ceramic trophies celebrating alternative competitions of the world.

Installation shot. Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Degree Show, 2015.

Pictured is a ceramic trophy for celebs with the prettiest teeth. The glossy, fleshy pink goblet has a stem made of hyper realistic teeth. The trophy has gold detailing. Large white ceramic teeth pertrude across the centre of the goblet, each tooth has the name of a celebrity winner above, written in gold lettering.

Prettiest Teeth, 2015, ceramic and acrylic.

Imagined competition celebrating the best of celeb teeth. Past winners; Dale Winton, 2010, Lil Wayne, 2011, Flavor Flav, 2012, Julia Roberts, 2013, Kanye West 2014.

Pictured are three ceramic milk cartons in a row, the central carton stands forward from the others slightly. Each with gold, silver or bronze caps and labels. The bronze carton sits to the left, label reads 'The Milk Challenge, Runner-Up'. Silver sits to the right, also reading The Milk Challenge, Runner-Up. The central carton is gold and reads 'The Milk challenge, Champion'.

The Milk Challenge, 2015, ceramic.

Celebrating milk chuggers across the globe.

Pictured is a trophy celebrating a 'Gurning' competition. In the style of a hunting Trophy. A grotesque male ceramic head hangs on a dark wooden mount. Large gold lettering encircles the top half of the ceramic head, reading 'Egremont Crab Fair'. A small plaque sits below the head reading 'Guring since 1267'

Gurning since 1267, 2015, ceramic and wood.

Celebrating Egremont Crab fair gurning champions since 1267.

Pictured is a ceramic trophy in the shape of a simplified male figure holding its arms up, displaying his long gold curling fingernails. The trophy is black (body), white (arms and head) and gold detailing (fingernails, facial features and detailing to clothes),


Longest Fingernail, 2015, Ceramic.

Celebrating Guinness world record holder Melvin Bloothe.

To see more of The Trophy Hall please take a look at my website