Gap Crit; 11/02/16




After having an unsuccessful couple of days in which I sealed the vitrine that I have created out of a modified fish tank, with a decomposing corpse and crystal solution inside, and not crystallising due to being a sealed environment and therefore the crystals could not form, I had a gap crit. Just before this, I expediated the process of crystallisation through the use of a heat gun to forcibly heat the remains of the animal and the solution, prompting a quick and concise crystal growth on the form. This let off a god awful stench, and caused the crystals to begin to grow up the sides of the tank. This was an unexpected outcome of the evaporation process, and yet, allowed me to accidentally create a means of obscuring the form further. the interesting thing about the matter within the vitrne, was that due to it being frozen in the freezer of a fellow artist that donated it to me, I at first, believe it to be the remains of a Blackbird. However, upon thawing and depositing it within the tank, I soon realised that (much like the famous illusion by Gombrich), the form of the ‘bird’ morphed into the head of a Rabbit. When other people viewed the work, some of them realised what the object in the case was; and yet, others did not realise until it was pointed out to them; in which the head morphed into it’s original ‘rabbit’ form before their eyes. This is something that I want to happen; I want the viewer to be unsure of what actually has been taken over by the crystals, and instead think of it as nothing more than matter that is decomposing, and being consumed by the crystalline mass; much like fungus, or some other form of decaying process.

There was a lot of initial aversion to the work, due to the quite graphic nature of the piece; however, people did appreciate the inherent beauty within the work. There were ideas thrown around about the relationship of the object to it’s space, and how the wire coming down from the light almost makes the piece look like a form of battery; as if there is some connection to the space surrounding it; whether this decomposing object is some form of electrical device, creating energy from it’s rotting form. This is quite interesting to be honest, and something that I had not thought about before this point; as it relates to the idea of energy being manifested through a process of give and take with the crystals and decomposition. However, it has been said that his is a big step up for my work; and seems to be a culmination of the work I have been attempting to create for the past three years, and this spurs me on at a great speed. I aim to create a trinity of these vitrines, and I am not sure if I want them to be in different states of decay, or even the same form of animal within the cases. I hope to get birds, and I think these will be the most effective materials within the work.


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