The Feathers in their chemical bath
The first feathers next to a duality of wool and ink forms
Something interesting that occurred during the opening night of ‘-exposure’ was a conversation two girls were having whilst standing next to my piece ‘Cradle’. One of the girls remarked to the other; ‘this is quite obviously an artwork by a female artist, a male artist could not create something this intricate and delicate’. This event has stuck within my mind for the past few weeks, as it implies that there is still a specific stereotype between genders, especially when it comes to the work made by the two genders within the contemporary art world. However, this was interesting to me; as it has often bee remarked that my more delicate, fragile works are much more successful at orchestrating my concepts and emotions than my more forceful, harsher, and rather rushed other pieces. To better understand the concept of ‘fragility’ within life, I have begun to explore the phenomena of Bio-mineralization. A process utilised throughout nature by shelled animals; in which they materialise their own protective layers and housings, in order to protect themselves from outside forces. To achieve this, I have been synthesising crystals on flexible and malleable forms, in order to harden and preserve their shape; as well as ‘seal’ them within their crystalline mass.
The process of crystallization on a feather; 5 hours crystallization time
The process of crystallization on a sheet of white cotton; 8 hours
The prces I am using at the moment is a form of ‘absorption’ which allows the formula I have made to seep into the form, and as it dries out, the crystals reach out from the surface of the object. This resembles the way that entropy works; how energy from an object passes from within, out into the surrounding universe. This is aptly displayed in the way that the crystals ‘grow out’ form the surface, like coral or veins, except out into the surrounding space. This ‘white crystalline mass’ is actually mainly Urea, which allows me to dissolve it and spray and/ or absorb it into the forms I am trying to ‘harden’. This also references calcification, in which flexible forms become hard and immovable; a process of time and effect on all natural forms; which eventually harden and crumble to dust. Ashes to Ashes, decay and dust.
A Crystallized Bird Wing; stopping it from rotting any more.
A Crystallized wool ‘cocoon’
Within this notion of ‘Decay’, as well as the showcasing of the energy passing out from the form being ‘trapped within the crystalline formations, I have come to a discovery within my artwork. By ‘trapping’ the form within the crystals, it almost halts their decay. This is interesting, as it stops the form from decomposing any longer. As I have focused on ideas of resurrection and rebirth in the past; it is interesting to take a fresh look at the notion of ‘eternal life’ and paint is as more of a protective and fragile thing. To suppress the biological ultimatum of death and decomposition, is to be given immortality. Yet, it is more of a curse than a blessing, as death is something that every being must experience; for to be alive one must be dead. The crystals, therefore, are a symbol of preservation and entrapment.