Context

 

There is a freedom in stepping back from something you’ve made and knowing that you can do nothing to reverse what has taken place; a state change.  This is why casting is so beautiful to me. It’s not always a good feeling, but satisfaction can be taken from the fact that it’s out of your hands. It’s like that when I make my work. It requires an extremely involved process that someone could mistake for something very domestic, like baking or cleaning. I end up covered in pigments, dust and dried pastes. I invest a lot of time in elements like laying down plastic bags that prepare my working area but are removed and never again mentioned. I measure ingredients like I’m preparing to make a cake and I mix colours and plaster together like a witch over a cauldron and it makes me feel oddly powerful, but even so it is confined to a guaranteed window of time.  And I emphasise this quality in the work that remains very much a trace of the elements that came together to conceive it. Once I have dipped my scrim into the mix there is always a point when I have to drop everything where it is and watch as the medium takes power back from me.

I find control in the objects that I shape around and the spaces I choose to fill with my material, literally using the architecture as a mould to create an intervention in the space for the viewer. I can do all I want to attempt to construct a path for the form I wish to create, but I liberate myself by choosing mediums that are time contingent: Plaster and Jesmonite, and air drying clay that I know as long as I have performed my rituals correctly, are going to freeze what I do in place so I can no longer fuss over them.  Fussing is my problem. Whenever I am presented with a blank piece of paper I naturally attempt to communicate in a language that is slow and obsessive. I am pulled towards realism found in folds, lines and textures that I see in skin and other surfaces I find traces of human action in, like fabric. And a field of artistic curiosity that spans from the elaborate workings of Titian and Bernini to the precious wax makings of De Bruyckere.  But in attempting to represent them in this way I get lost in the mimetic process instead of one of translation.  So I am interested in blending high and low art.  Taking the traditional sculptural process of casting and domesticating it by playing with everyday objects that I can find within the space I am working in. If I want to capture that quintessentially domestic image of a curtain ballooning out of a window with a breeze, or freezing that moment between the bed sheet flying and falling back to the bed as you change it. I simulate the gesture, but I am free to allow the chance and irregularity of the process to create forms that surprise both myself and the viewer.