I have recently started to revisit my most current research conducted during the last semester of my degree, trying to pick out the most relevant and interesting pieces to continue to base my current enquiries upon. I am surprised at how much of my research is still relevant to to work I want to create, and in looking at certain parts of my research I have seen some of it in a different context to how I viewed it before.
There is one particular piece within my research that has stuck with me for around a year now, with no clear idea of how I could best utilise it within my work:
This extract is taken from Edgelands: Journeys Into England’s True Wilderness by Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley. The concept of ‘self seeding’ creatures has been fascinating me since I read this chapter within the book, and I instantly made the connection between this and the clay figures I create. It’s been unclear to me exactly what this connection entails, which is one idea I intend to explore during my residency at AirSpace Gallery.
The clay figures I create have evidence of their creation on their surface; the fingerprints and marks I leave from my contact with the clays surface. However there is no clear indication of why they were made, what their purpose is. The could easily be self seeding, odd, stone like creatures that sculpt each other from the clay in some barren wastelands of a city.
I find this piece of research interesting in another sense, as the book and it’s context have no initial link to the enquiries I examine within my practice. I discuss ideas of a precarious nature, of classification, taxonomy, how institutions such as museums frame nature; how do the urban edgelands between city and countryside link in with this enquiry? In a way, these edgelands are a nature unto their own, I would argue that they are by their very nature precarious, under constant change and alteration. Borders of cities advance or detract, waste is dumped, and nature always takes hold, whether temporarily or more permanently. It is as if the nature that is found in these areas has sprung from out of thin air, self seeded and grown from nothing. This point argues the resilience of nature, its ability to appear in the most hardy and unlikely of places, but once there its existence is precarious. The wastelands could be excavated ready for new buildings, or abandoned building demolished.
This particular piece of research not only forces me to consider how I can apply it within my practice, but also the context from where I retrieved it, and how that context fits into my current enquiries even though it may first appear to be irrelevant.