There are times when, as an artist, you feel like you just make things for the sake of it. This is mostly true but occasionally something happens and a piece of art just appears. This particular project started with a piece of my Christmas cactus being accidentally broken off. Me being me, I picked it up and decided to pot it in the hopes it would grow. However, without any fresh soil or a pot I cut up a milk carton and filled it with soil just dug up from a verge in the garden. This seemed to do the job and it began growing but so did all the seeds and things that were already in the soil.
Feeling kind of happy at the prospect of mysterious plants I decided not to weed it and let them grow and boy did they grow. I now have a very green window box fashioned from an old milk carton. With the thought of this unexpected life I went to work on the Isle of Mull, taking one of my casts with me. On arrival I started an experiment where I filled the cast with soil from the surrounding area. Watering it and caring for it as though there were seeds in it produced a beautiful effect. Everyday I wrote a short entry of my observations and everyday there was something new.
Life is all around us from the undisturbed seeds of plants long forgotten to a billion bacteria living in a teaspoon of soil. There is a lot more to the world than we sometimes expect and if we stop for a moment to watch it, to see it growing and changing we might see something beautiful.
Day 63, Week 9, 02/08/19
”The little forest seems to both grow slowly and quickly as the weeks go by. The vast variety astounds me. The whole cast has become a tangle of fine new greenness. A miniature forest of life in a landscape of information. When I get up close it is easy to get lost in its intricacies and imagine walking among them like an ant.”
This Hospitalfield micro-residency, organised by the university, gave me the opportunity to experiment with my ‘Linescape’ work and how it conveys, translates and embodies information. My fascination being in the detailed possibilities produced by line. A line can represent many things, sounds, words, music, pulses, waves, tremors, vibrations etc. and in such a simple way. I set out to create an ambiguous line that could be seen as any number of formations. Placed opposite a statue of a sailor holding a telescope signifies land. The setting of this extravagant Victorian house brings contrasting themes into play; the modern neon red of the light alluding to cheap consumerism of the city and an unsustainable life.
‘View to a Lightscape’ – Hospitalfield 2019
I introduced a second light, which was thin, blue and around the base of the statue, linking the statue to the line opposite. ‘View to a Lightscape’ changed all the way from the strong light of day through to the murky dark of night; different qualities highlighted throughout.
A new solo exhibition of works concerning line, edge and translation featuring the previous work ‘Set in stone?’. Combining sound works, writing, drawing and both kinetic and still sculpture, ‘LINE.EDGE.TRANSLATION’ aims to fully submerse the audience in an experience of the senses. Lines are everywhere; through words, images, objects, sound waves, thoughts, vibrations etc and this is a celebration of that.
Sat in a room full of lines,
Listen to them move, to them grind,
Watch as they form in the space,
Imagine their shape, their pace,
Where one ends a break.
In the centre of the room sits ‘Material Information’ an interactive work that invites the audience to turn the bent wire forming a live animation in a shadow on the wall behind. To the left hangs two drawings in light and cable translated from original drawings done in a performance lecture. The original drawings where performed by peers who where told to draw a line that took five minutes. Halfway through the performance sound intervened the awkward silence changing the drawing techniques. The sound being from talks and lectures it had a thoughtful tone to it. On the right of the room lies a deconstructed version of ‘Set in stone?’; it lying on the side of its pedestal. Between this and the projected line of ‘Material Information’ hangs some experimental installation work examining the repetitive and everyday action of peeling an orange and the line this creates.
I find the city at night to have an eerie kind of peacefulness. The lights and colours seem decadent, illuminating deserted shops and buildings. I took these on new years eve and managed to catch a couple of fireworks from the top of the crags in Edinburgh.
Following on from Linescape and considering some of the same themes, “Connections” is an artists book with a sense of discovery and playfulness. Each disc or ‘page’ is 15cm across making this book very large and weighty. This brings an earthy, grounding element to the work, which compliments the subtle links to landscapes and the natural environment.