Taking inspiration from the ‘sublime miracle’ that Dr. Frankenstein sees within the novel, in which a tree is struck by a lightning bolt and is obliterated; I have begun to explore the symbolism of the dead tree branches as a potential surrogate for the ‘dead materials’ I have been using up until this point. This has inspired me to make a series of crystallised branches, mimicking the twisted and torn limbs of a dead animal.
As a means of promoting a better growth of crystals on the surface of these objects, I have been wrapping them in a thin white wool; as it allows the crystal solution to soak into, and travel up, the wool, therefore better surrounding the form with the crystals. However, two interesting developments have occurred due to this creative process. First, the wrapped form better resembles a limb; due to the t’tightening’ of the wooden form, as well as disguising the form as a softer, animal’s appendage. Second, it has highlighted to me the importance of the colour of the crystals; once more, I have not added any dyes or inks to the crystal solution, and instead it has extracted the colour of the wood. I’m not quite sure how this has happened, but I believe it is due to the mud and rotting bark on the surface f the form being drawn up into the solution in the wool and then into the crystal formations.
This act of ‘binding’ not only changes the form, but adds a certain degree of tension to the piece, which can be utilised effectively to promote the idea that this is not a pleasant piece. The combination of this tension, and the softer, beautiful crystals, creates an interesting debate within the work. The object is being consumed by these crystals, as if they are some form of fungus, or disease, that is taking over the host’s body. It is reminiscent of a parasite, as it slowly grows and takes over the object held within. This is interesting, and relates back to the idea of the ‘mortal coil’ ; that is, the act of being trapped within the cycle of life, death, and eventual rebirth into another form, that I have explored throughout my work for the past two years.
A series of Crystals that have grown in a glass. Note the way that the crystals, once frail and sparse, become dense and tumour-like as they grow continuously. Resembling a fungus, or amoeba-like entity.
After testing out the absorbency of Wool within my circular crystal structures, I have ended up with a great deal of the objects. So, I have been exploring the idea of displaying them as a series of bundles; referencing the cyclical nature of life, as well as minimalist forms. As an experiment, they are interesting; and open up a new avenue of possible further exploration in creating symbols from different materials; as I have utilised ‘circles’ for an ongoing series of ritual/occult circle installations, and the potential for crystals to be used as a material for the circles themselves, is very interesting.