Playing and improvising with a table full of small sculptural matter and objects that I have either made or found from various times and places. I explore sounds and shape and the way objects fit together, don’t fit together or could relate to each other. I like the way that it looks as though I know what I am doing or there is a purpose for it all but there really isn’t a purpose at all. It’s as if I am following a process, spell or instructions but the point of the playful exercise was simple to see what it may look like for a viewer if they just watched me move objects around. Play is also an interesting thing to think about. Being playful is often an intuitive act, allowing preconceptions or structure to loosen and maybe take a different for to usual. Play also allows for a space and openness of expression to occur which can lead to potential discovery and new ways of seeing or knowing.
In this very simple activity I perform an act that my grandmother (Lamoine) who died two years ago used to do for me. She would peel off the skin of an apple; as it was too hard for her teeth, then leave the apple peel in a pile next to her for me to eat. It was a sharing exercise that didn’t require much thought, just doing something together that satisfied us both. Now that I think more about it, it was beautiful and innocent and simple just sharing a piece of fruit – the offspring and seed dispersers of a tree, a symbol of new life, purely for travelling to new locations to spread its DNA and seed. She also would give me the skin, notable the part of the fruit that carries the most nutrients, the skin that has hardened under the sun, protecting the seeds, full of energy and nutrition.
In this moment of gathering, I act as Lamoine as I often do in my work. I feel as though I channel the side to her that was never exposed when she was alive, the part that was suppressed by her position, gender and era. Through performance work I feel I am Lamoine’s free and confident, active side that was never seen. So here I position myself as her as I share an apple with others. It was sweet and peaceful, I felt trust and very glad to be giving. The timidness and characteristic of every participant was something I noticed, the different attentions and decisions was interesting and fun to witness and be the barer of. I felt like a giver and provider on a small scale, the same way the grandmother is, a kind of healer, provider of smaller details – different to the mother or father. The grandmother figure is of a different kind of carer, wiser and in Lamoine’s case, a provider of quieter things.
The object/sculpture seen above is a moving instrument; you have to roll it in order to play it and it is often necessary to travel with the instrument whilst it is activated. Activation is something myself and Liv have discussed a lot. It is very important in her work and I am noticing where it become present in mine. Fruit and seeds, pods and blobs that contain the necessary stuff for reproduction are running motifs in my thoughts and sculptures and if these objects are to be successful in reproduction they need to be activated somehow in order to release their goods; the way an apple needs to be eaten by an animal to expose the seeds, some seed pods need to burst under the heat of the sun to release their seeds. An energy transfer always needs to happen the same way my movement in connection to the musical wheel needs to happen to activate it’s sound and vibration the same way any sound is created.
The video above is a short video showing how I created the forms for my bronze casts. I discovered pouring hot wax into cold water when I was in the bath. The shapes are instantaneously created. I like to see the forms as shapes plucked from another realm, the realm of chance and instant formation dropping into existence with little guidance and direction. It is quite amazing, where did these shapes that are quite aggressive and otherworldly or alien come from. There was no development or planning for their physicality – an intriguing difference to my other objects and work, there isn’t much of a story or long conception of why and how to make such an intricate shape so quickly.
This is a video of me assembling a sculpture I’ve made from the barrel that was used in the collecting drumming performance. I cut up the barrel into shapes inspired by figurative drawings I’ve done. I felt that the video showing some of my decision making and arrangement of the pieces was quite important as this part of the process is essential to the final outcome. I understand and recognise how vulnerable and malleable this part of the making is as if the space was smaller, the conditions altered or it was a different day then the sculpture could be completely different. It is such an instinctive process of fitting together shapes almost like a jigsaw in a new way. It involved instinctive precise movements and balancing acts of the body, multitasking the limbs and testing the strength of welds as they glue together minor points of contact and different tensions in the metal and weight. It was a very playful process of testing, trial and error and following what works best for the shape and material.
Above is a very quickly thrown together video that stitches together a video I took of myself and Liv cooking a meal together for others. It was a fun process and we learnt about what we found interesting about focusing shots and the camera on the food rather than say the people involved or sounds. Although we did really enjoy the sounds of chopping and frying noises and bubbling and boiling and crushing noises that were part of the preparation. Making and reflecting on the video has brought up questions about the preparation for activities and the activity of preparation itself and how in the video we focus on purely the actions and movements and dances that food does during preparation. Food dances. Cooking is just a big old party for vegetables. It was also interesting to see the abstracted image of the food when zoomed in. It could pass as a impressionist painting at times. I realised how beautiful food can appear as all the many fragments of nature mix together in the pots. From this video I’d like to further sound record the sound of chopping and food prep. Also think more about the idea of a feedback loop which was inspired by the way me and Liv both film each other and celebrate the presence of two cameras videoing a moment from different perspectives and angles. It seems quite special that such a thing can happen and be captured through the use of technology. The idea of a feedback loop also reinvents ideas we have been discussing about the circular, balanced exchanges and relationships that are present throughout the natural world and the way people and energy are transferred so finding this kind of moment in a technological invention contrasts to feedback loops found in the atmosphere or rivers and ground of earth. There are many scales and materials to consider when thinking of feeding something back to its source.
The tree decoration collaboration video captures the first time Liv and me collectively created something that was other than a conversation or meal. It have left the video very organic and kept all the dialogue and honesty in our first exploration of the others ideas and orbiting and connecting in ways about the way something looks and is put together. It was useful to notice the way the other used the other’s materials and objects adding new inspiration and perspectives to what could be done with it. I really like the way Liv used ribbons threaded through the bread to hang it to the trees. The text in the video was written through me stream of consciousness when I first watched the videos back when editing them in Premiere Pro. I kept the rawness and organic response to working collaboratively present and wanted it to be an honest and completely natural response to the video and idea of working together itself as I felt I would learnt the most about the experiment rather than writing things that I thought sounded good or that people wanted to hear about the way we worked together. It is important to be straightforward and honest about the way you feel about working collaboratively with someone at first so that you start in an honest and equal place; a bit like any relationship you build. It is the first stage if getting to know somebody at a more intimate level when you work together to create one thing. This is important to realise now because we are planning to work collaboratively together for the final degree show.