The feathered object a few hours after soaking
The wing after two days of growth
i have been really enjoying this avenue of artistic exploration it feels comfortable to be creating objects that are fragile and delicate once more. I am continuing with my exploration of Urea as a material for sculpture, as well as how it grows under certain conditions, as well as how it grows on different materials and surfaces. Within my own practice, I often utilise materials from dead beings, such as; fur, hair, feathers and bones, and these lend themselves well to my recurring themes of life, death and rebirth. I have also drawn some insiration from voodoo and occult practices, in which I wrap these dead forms and materials in string and fabric, in order to imbue them with a form of ‘esoteric power’. I also utilised this ‘wrapping’ technique here, within this crystallised wing; as it allowed the crystal solution to better transfer up the wing’s form, and allow beautiful crystalline growths to burst forth from the wing’s surface. It has been tinged yellow due to the Potassium Ferricyanide solution still being retained within the wing’s feathers; but now, has allowed a quite stinging to the eye, yet eerily beautiful, yellow hue.
An experiment with fur; one that yielded an interesting result.
Another experiment with white fur; yet, is one of the best creations I have made. The blossoming, tumour like crystals are ephemeral in form, and are beautiful to behold.
Through the use of Fur, I have been exploring a material that I have not utilised before; despite being fascinated by the shed materials of lost souls. Through careful manipulation of the fur’s forms, I have been attempting to provide a surrogate for actual dead animals, creating objects that are once bestial in nature, and soaking them in my crystal solution. Through this, I hope to better orchestrate the theme of ‘Entropy’, as well as lost energy from a host’s corpse, which then ‘bleeds’ out into the surrounding universe. There have been experiments with just fur and/or hair, that is bound by a single thread of cotton to retain their shape throughout the crystallisation process. With these first two white ‘hair’ sculptures, they yielded really fascinating crystalline shapes; more reminiscent of the tumours that I was creating last year, than the coral-like structures we have been seeing more often within the process. After this, I began to look towards black ‘fur’ as a potential material for use as it is a stark contrast against the white crystals and could be seen as a more obvious ‘divide’ between the two materials within the work. However, I have also utilised darker hues of crystals, through the process of dying the solution, as a means of attempting a better ‘blurring’ of the two materials as well.
I have also successfully grown crystals on a bird’s skull, after being unable to on a larger sheep’s skull.
A series of 4 petri dishes utilised to test out crystal growth over a period of time; here, they have slight tinges of yellow, grey and red from the contamination of Potassium Ferricyanide. This tainting produces a very slight and ethereal colour scheme.
This petri dish produced a very different crystalline mass; I believe this is due to a slight contamination of borax within the Urea, producing a ‘softer’ forest within the dish.