Milly Aburrow


Full of vibrant colours & humour, Milly’s surrealistic sculptures & pictures
explore gender, sexuality & stereotypes associated with food in
Western society. We talked with her about life as an emerging
artist in Bath (UK), art as a possible tool for change and
strawberry Nesquik as her source of inspiration.


Milly, please tell us a bit about you and your work.

My name is Milly Aburrow, I’m a current BA Fine Art student at Bath Spa university going in to my third year in October. I was creative from a very young age, I was born with left side Cerebral Palsy and dreaded exercise (and still do!) so art was a natural hobby that progressed throughout school and the educational system.

The work that I currently fabricate focuses on the consumption of food, materialistic items and fashion that weave into our identities. My practice’s theories and research, stemmed from my consumption of food in the first year of university, where I ate prawn cocktail crisps constantly and drank strawberry Nesquik – and funnily enough it was the same time my wardrobe had evolved into an explosion of pink.

My current investigation and fabrication of work scrutinises whether food needs to be a vessel of communication and if there is a need for this superfluous association with our everyday sustenance. The naive, tacky and flamboyant disposition of my sculptures, imagery and installations proposes connotations of irony with these notions, challenging the over arching patriarchy of Western society and breaking down outdated stereotypes.

Swallow my Pride, 2022
Mixed Media Sculpture (Polystyrene, Plaster, Acrylic Paint, PVA, Polymer Clay, Poly Filler and Faux Snow)
28 x 15 cm Diameter

Paint Me Like One of Your French Fries, 2022
Mixed Media Sculpture (Wood, Cardboard, Plaster, Spraypaint, Polymer Clay and Faux Fur)
100 x 83 x 15 cm
Coming Out Burger, 2022
Mixed Media Sculpture (Fibre Sculpture, Plastic Gems and Wire)
25cm x 13 cm Diameter

When creating a work, are you actively aiming for that criticism to be understood (having the audience in mind) or are you fine with people having their own interpretations of your works?

When creating a piece of work I rarely take into account the interpretation from the audience and their perspective – each piece I create has either a personal connection to myself or carries connotations that as an artist I am intrigued and fascinated by. If I actively thought about the interpretation of my pieces by others, I fear it might alter the process from research to fabrication of the outcome of a piece.

So, I have no expectation for the audience to connect the criticisms on the topics that is represented – I appreciate that my artwork is really obscure in that sense (that it can seem unfathomable). As previously discussed, my art practice developed from my own consumption, I am just as content with an audiences own personal connection with my work, and if they identify and relate to the food I create.

Do you believe works of art can actually be an eye opener for people and a possible starting point for change in society? More generally speaking, do you think art should be used as a tool for change?

Within my own practice, I indicate a distain for our stereotypical, patriarchal Western society, through humour, fun and familiarity. To create change, requires conversation. Personally, I believe art creates an approachability of discussion surrounding a topic, which creates understanding of different perspective and attitudes. Therefore, I do believe art can be used as a device for change

Art is an outlet of expression, and has implemented an accessibility to display beliefs which I think is an important aspect.

Serving you Gay, Veggie Realness, 2022
Digitally Manipulated Photography (Sculpture – Fibre Sculpture, Wire and Plastic Gems)
29.7 x 29.7 cm
The Gay Nutrition, 2022
Digitally Manipulated Photography (Sculpture – Fibre Sculpture, Wire and Plastic Gems)
29.7 x 29.7 cm

When reviewing your works, they seemed very unique to me. Have you been aiming to create this style or did it rather just happen?

The style that has developed since 2020, was rather subconscious and coincidental. When I started University I started creating what I liked and what interested me, while before within the educational system it was quite regimented – favouring painting and the realistic style. University created a rediscovery of freedom, what I liked and who I was as a person in which I embraced thus resulting in the style of art I still create today. From reflection of my art style I can see both my own personality and identity and my artist inspirations such as Lucy Sparrow, Rachel Maclean and Franz West etc.

Tell us a bit more about your inspiration & also your practical creative process from an idea to a piece.

My artworks start with sketches inspired by my surroundings, habits (mainly what I eat) and digital culture, which then instigates the exploration of the different elements of the possible work, may it be the food itself or added surrealist elements. Finally, I translate the sketch in to a physical, three-dimensional work experimenting with many different materials as I fabricate the final piece. What is different about my practice is the translation of sculpture to material then to the digital – you will always find reoccurring elements and imagery within works, inspired by advertising campaigns and endless consumerism.

Knot In My Stomach, Knot in My Gummy Worm, 2022
Mixed Media Sculpture (Pool Noodle, Plaster, Acrylic Paint, PVA and Faux Snow)
100 x 45 x 8 cm
Spoon Fed, 2021
Mixed Media Sculpture (Plaster, Fibreglass, Acrylic Paint, Spray paint and Plastic Gems)
100 x 48 x 20 cm

On your website you mention that the fact that there is theory and research behind art works made you fall in love with art even more. What does art and creating art mean to you on a personal level, in your life?

Yes! First of all, I would like to mention that I have just created a new website, as the one that you quoted was a bit out-dated! But, I still stand by my writing that connotations are the most exciting aspect of art. Without connotations I wouldn’t be creating surrealistic sculptures and artworks of food! Questioning sometimes bizarre connections of a physical objects or imagery to forms of communication. Within my childhood art created an accessible hobby that I really enjoyed, my disability created obstacles when It came to doing any sports, so I swayed to creativity for fun.

For me creating artwork has never been something I have been scared of or unable to do – it ignited a passion of continuous joy and fulfilment.

What has art and creating taught you and has it taught you something about yourself?

I would like to say it has taught me patience, but it does the absolute opposite as I am a perfectionist. This has created a motivation to improve my skill, to create visually and accomplished pieces that I can be proud of – as I am never satisfied if I know I can do better!

What is your experience so far, studying art, being an emerging artist & how is the art scene where you live?

I really enjoy studying art, it has enabled me to create art pieces that I never thought I would create – the technicians have been so helpful when it comes to solving problems or choosing materials for a sculpture. The art community in Bath is pretty big, with many residences available, galleries and museums.

Unfortunately, due to COVID in the previous years at university I haven’t experienced much of the art community outside of university, however, would love to in the near future. I try to apply to as many open calls as I can, which are viable (location wise if an exhibition) and they have been really helpful and I’ve been so grateful for the exposure they have given me as an artist.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a project titled ‘Fill Me In’, where I am going to fabricate a sandwich counter. My university year hasn’t started, while typing this, which is where the majority of the fabrication will be done – so I am completing the smaller artworks connected to the installation, like graphics, logos, posters, and the garments which are all designed by me.

Lounging Round, 2022
Digital Photograph (A compilation of sculpture and specifically designed and fabricated clothing by the artist), 29.7 x 42 cm

What are you aspiring for regarding your art and career?

I would be grateful for continued exposure of my work in publications and exhibitions, my dream is to some day have a solo show. I will always keep pursuing and apply to open calls – taking every opportunity that is presented. Ultimately, for my art career to be my main source of income would be incredible, as then it would become my sole focus, however the most important aspect is that my artwork will have an audience.

Any fellow emerging artists you‘d like to recommend?

My girlfriend Lilly (@lillyamber_art), is also an emerging artist studying at Bath Spa University, whose own practice explores the anthropomorphic portrayal of animals in pop culture and how human interaction and perception of animals have changed through their portrayal on TV and in animations. Without her my own practice wouldn’t be as accomplished – a keen photographer and video editor, she helps document my work and assists with my installations.

Another artist that I admire is Meg Miles (@meg__miles) who creates miniature clay items (makeup, foods etc). Either decorating trinket boxes or displayed in frames. She is so skilful in what she creates and her pieces are so delicate and the visual aesthetic is stunning

How to get in touch with you and where can we see your work?

The best way to get in touch with me is Instagram!

A work titled Miss Chippy, a freestanding chip fork and chip, is permanently on display at the fish and chip shop ‘Whistler’s’ in Westbourne, Emsworth, PO10 8UJ. To show support during this time of soaring living costs and to commemorate a local business.

I’m not involved nor have I arranged any current exhibitions, so this seems like a long way off, but the next (definite) time my work will be able to be seen is my degree show at Bath Spa University in June. However, if I am showing any work publicly, I will always advertise it on social media

And last question: What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to continue to create art for as long as possible. I intend to do a master’s degree in Fine Art, but after education I would also really like to attend artist residences. Alongside my own artist practice I would love a job within the art’s industry, whether it’s in a gallery or as an illustrator.

Get in touch
with Milly

Instagram: @portfolio.milly

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thank you so much for reading our interview with Milly until

the end- we hope you liked her work as much as we do!
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