Summative post – Documentation; 28/02/16


-exposure piece; ‘Cradle’


Within my studio work, I have been focusing on tension and knots within wool and string, and yet, not being sure exactly why. Nevertheless, I feel a burning desire to continue with this avenue of exploration within my work. Through my research, I came across an object utilised within witchcraft for luck and incantation purposes;  a ‘witch’s ladder’. The witch ladder is basically a ‘dark’ rosary, in the sense that it is made from braided cord or string, and instead of holding beads within it, it utilises feathers and/or bones and other materials woven into the single braid or plait. As the braid is woven, an incantation is told, and with each knot, energy from within the creator is passed into the ladder. Due to the imminent closure of the Abacus, I wanted to create a ‘shrine’ towards the abacus, utilising dead and energy laden materials to celebrate this aspect; although the materials are ‘dead’, their energy and influence still lives on, passing into the viewers own soul.


Documentation 13/01/16; Crystallisation & Decay


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.


Documentation 21/01/16; Growth through crystallisation


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 abjection of the form is also of great interest to me, as it provides a beautiful abstraction.


Documentation 08/02/16; The Branch


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 of the form being drawn up into the solution in the wool and then into the crystal formations.


Gap Crit 11/12/16; a decomposing object, a broken vitrine


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. The notion of revulsion, abjection, and yet, appreciation for inherent beauty within the work.


Documentation 16/02/16; Hanging and the ethereal nature of a floating object


The notion of something being ethereal, as well as the abstract form that the wool covered wood provides; referencing the broken limb of a dead animal or being; and therefore, through subjectivity, resembles that which I am trying to create through quite literal representations. Abstraction is important within this work; the viewer must take their own understandings from the work, as it will change and morph within the mind of everyone who comes to view it.


Documentation 23/02/16; A larger sculpture


There is also this sculpture that I am crafting; after discussing the vitrines that I originally intended to use within my work, and the relatively high costs it would take to make them with Andre, I have decided that I will experiment with a larger form of sculpture. He suggested that this may be an interesting avenue for exploration, and I have to agree; I have held an image in my mind for a while now, and it is of a large tree-like sculpture that has been fully, or partially covered in the crystals. I often work in a larger form, and the sheer size of the tree, couple with the delicate covering of the crystals, will be an interesting duality; as well as an interesting abstraction of the wood’s form. I hope to create a sculpture that either rests or is is suspended in a dark space, as this would further accentuate the strangeness of the work; and therefore, become more subjective.


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