Documentation; 21/01/16 – Growth through Crystallisation

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Although I have been experimenting with my Red crystals; consisting of saturated solutions of Potassium Hydroxide Ferricyanide, they are a very costly materials to use (1 kg costing around £26), which I cannot use to it’s full potential, as it requires a great deal of the raw chemical powder to make solutions saturated enough to create these crystals. However, I have been finding promise within the ‘Urea Crystals’ that I have been experimenting with, which grow over time, even when the object that has been soaked with the solution has been removed from the solution. It continues to grow, and this makes for some very interesting art; as it continues to shift and morph, even after it’s initial creation. The crystals, when grown in a container, create these beautiful bulbous and coral-like forms; which are fascinating to behold, and are beautifully delicate. I also explored merging these crystalline forms with the expanding foam scultures I had made before; and this has resulted in a rather rock-pool like creation.


A green, ‘putrid and sea-like’ growth upon a soft hair-like form. This explores the notion of ‘hardening’ and ‘calcification’ I have been exploring within my work, as well as a new interest I am holding; which is with the sea’s own ways of decaying and encrusting. Objects that are encrusted by the scum and beings of the sea, often take on a green, white and blue tinge; and this lends itself well to this domineering, and creeping crystalline mass.


Here; a different colour scheme has burst through the soft mass, rich reds and pinks, here resemble a bouquet of flowers. A resemblance to the tumours that I was so fascinated with last year can be seen here, and the image of the ‘mandela’; of the lump that holds an immense power, is reborn within this growing crystalline form.

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I have also been attempting to create other organic forms that aren’t the cocoons, and have come to create elongated; almost fish or lamprey-like string sculptures; with a gentle fade of peach within the string’s form. As well as crystals having grown over the past day or so, I really like this form. It is currently strung up on a length of string across my space, and resembles some form of ‘drying line’ in which fish are hung upon, in order to dry them out. there is a certain nod to the sea within these creative processes and forms; as the build up resembles the ‘coating’ of barnacles on the underside of boats, or on wooden piers that are laid underwater. This ephemeral growth; a nod to the every shifting and consistent cycle of nature; is something I aim to explore within my work.


An experimental process of ‘spraying’ the liquid that I use to create these crystals onto one of my earlier woolen sculptures; it is interesting that it resembles snow in a larger sculptural context.


The ‘Heart’ shape after one day of crystallisation


This is one of my favourite pieces that I have currently made; resembling a heart that has gained a white and pink crust; It relates back to my interest in the heart being the center of the body, as well as having connotations of being precious and delicate. This highlights the fragility of the human body, and the fragility of life; as well as symbolising this ‘physical manifestation of entropy’.


Another experiment with the red crystals; this is a trio of small grey pigeon feathers from my ‘Cradle’  piece, now immortalised within the red crystals. The way that the crystals have formed here is what is really of interest; the way that they are flat and larger than before; almost as if someone has cut out a series red cardboard shapes and stuck them together in odd angles. It’s fascinating, for sure. This is a very small piece, however, and due to this, it is exceptionally delicate. The size does incite a certain fragility within the piece; and highlights the inherently precious nature of the object.


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