This first week has involved taking some time to engage and explore Corris, taking walks along the mountains, fields and through this quaint village. The large quantities of slate slabs of walls and fences, and slate pieces abandoned outside houses, the side of streets are fascinating; a material that seems to be taken for granted considering its history and due to its current presence. I’ve selected a handful of small pieces that I’ve found during the week and wondered how I can inforce further relevance to this object? Referring back to material transformation and the destabilisation of materiality; my fascination with repetition or multiples led me to think about casting this piece of slate again and again. However when thinking about the choice of material to produce this slate cast I had to consider the reasons and the relevance of this act; referring to the idea of deconstruction and reconstruction I began to wonder about the strength and purpose of slate and its existence in welsh industry. My practice has involved using wax as a focal material in previous works, and thinking about its qualities and properties I decided to cast the slate in wax to produce multiple castings. The process of creating a mould and repeating an object as a cast whilst changing its original material becomes a crucial part of the work; an action and object of repetition. Wax as a material has two states of liquid/solid, soft/hard; and therefore disrupting the original piece of slate involves a loss of confidence in its original material form.
slate process (Corris series)
David Bestue’s practice as an artist and writer extends into an enduring nature of stuff in his work that might be considered part of a longer reaching philosophical inquiry. His piece A and B (Fragment from where someone was born and fragment from where that same person died) is a semi-translucent cylinder draped over a metal rod nailed to the wall; however its prime material is resin mixed with dust gathered from two specific places: the room where someone was born and the room where that same person died. The delicacy of its placement expresses a simple fragment of life and death whilst compressing and conflating time; demonstrating Bestue’s capacity to convey a piece that emphasizes form and structure.
Stiwdio Maelor’s rural location, its scenery and rustic appearance led me to think about body and landscape. The artist Ana Mendieta’s work exists at the intersection of performance and sculpture, her tendency was to frustrate the ideals of beauty that has traditionally informed the representation of women. Mendieta produced a series of earth-body works;
Through my earth/body sculptures I become one with the earth, I become an extension of nature and nature becomes an extension of my body. This obsessive act of reasserting my ties with the earth is really the reactivation of primeval beliefs, [in] an omnipresent female force, the after image of being encompasses within the womb, is a manifestation of my thirst for being.
Imagen de Yagul, 1973 / Untitled (Body Tracks), 1974
Her focus on body and earth as sculptural mediums enforces an organic presence of combining performance as an action to produce multiple series with the four basic elements of nature. This research led me to question my relationship with the landscape and my current surroundings as artist in residence; raising questions into how I can expand my practice into creating site-specific works with a visible thread of continuing to work with installation and sculptural methods.