With her use of bright colors and simple forms, one cannot help but think of children's toys when looking at Dawn Youll's sculptures from her Toys in the Attic show at Marsden Woo Gallery in London in 2011. It is interesting to me how much Youll is able to convey using such simple forms. While the bright colors do speak of play, there is also a sexual element to these forms that suggests that perhaps that play isn't child's play. The piece entitled Salvation consists of an elongated black cone with a red ring around it. This can be seen as either a child's stacking toy or a group of toys that are more adult in nature. The piece entitled Tied consist of a blue rope-like form with an end protruding sharply from the center. The observer must ask what the rope is to be used for? Bondage? Perhaps a noose?
Visiting Youll's website I was pleased to find that her newest works continue these theme of children's toys being used to convey deeper meaning. Her sculptures Regular Arrangement and Civil Unrest are very reminiscent of a child's wooden blocks cut into the shapes of a garbage can, but their arrangement conveys a discussion of society functioning normally (the trash is contained and taken out) or one of civil unrest where the elements of a properly functioning society are out of alignment and therefore do not function properly (the garbage can is knocked over and the trash is strewn all over the street). She does continue the discussion of sexual play in sculptures like Domestic Engineering.
All in all, I feel this British artist is creating intriguing ceramic art that is very relevant to our modern world.