Practice: Fine Artist
Title of art work: Ø
Description of art work: An empty nest, approx. 25cm in diameter, woven from a variety of scavenged natural materials intended to burn at different rates -supplemented with intertwined Sparklers to add to the mechanics of the burning.
This is predominantly a process piece, rather than one with any loaded metaphors. And I intend to document both the construction, and deconstruction, through a series of photographic stills, and etchings.
Initially I began to think about why I’d be comfortable with the regression of something I’d shaped turning back into it’s pre-existant materials, why burning my work did not come from a dislike of it, or a need to take action against something I had created. Making the decision to burn it feels like as much a part of it’s organic cycle as creating/forming it in the first place did.
My practise primarily entails working with analogue photography, and 19th century techniques, supported by drawing, print making, and painting; this shift into spatial three-dimensional work has come about through an inquisitiveness about place and space, both in the physical and metaphysical. I’ve become interested in situational and location-specific works. And by taking away from the bonfire photographic images of the event, I will begin to further question why it is that I always revert back to where I feel most comfortable within art -working with flat mediums.
There have been continuous themes of the Specimen, and Ornithology -the study of birds, throughout my work for the past year or so now, I like their patterning, and how repeating patterns can change in scale so dramatically throughout nature. I will be looking at the weaving structures used in nest building to inform this piece.
Bonfires originated from the act of burning a dead body to crack the mortal shell open, allowing the soul’s release and ascension. Putting ourselves back into the natural cycle by force, rather than decomposition. In this context the nest will be reduced to it’s purest form, but not without a display in the process.
Following on from this action I intend to weave a much larger one around myself in the woods on the first day of spring, thus enclosing myself within the physical object that at an earlier stage was externalised and could have been thought to symbolise that I felt within; whilst simultaneously juxtaposing a man-made object in the image of a natural one, back into it’s original intended habitat. This is similar to when eggs hatch, yet are still encased within a larger protective environment.
“Ø” could be seen to touch on allusions to the hierarchy of the art world, and the development of new ideas and movements relying on the renewal and stemming-from of previous forms. However, throughout my time as a political activist and an artist, I’ve found this a very uncomfortable coupling of my interests, and so choose to refrain on a base level from mixing my art with my rejection of particular current structures.