Taking inspiration from the visual nature of the mono-prints and researching the work of artist Simon Callery, I worked with a piece of large canvas within the corner space. Simon Callery makes work by laying canvas over archaeological dig land, draws and cuts around the shapes of rocks and indents and markings found underneath, repeats this process and hangs the resulting fabric pieces over each other vertically, making a kind of palimpsest where you can see the layers of canvas from viewing the work from the side but also you can see deeper layers from looking face on at the canvas by looking through the holes cut out of it (see work of Callery below).
I did a very similar process to Callery by working on the land in that way, mapping its texture on the canvas with chalk and cut away at the shapes I wanted to. I also collected some rusty pieces of metal from the site and using commercial descaler I tried to do some rust staining however I am not sure I did the process correctly as the rust from the metal didn’t bleed very well but I think I’ll try it again.
I also didn’t do multiple layers of the onsite landscape mapping like Callery does but it does resemble the mono-prints quite a lot which wasn’t expected or intended.
Following the making of the sheet map of the corner space, I rediscovered my interest in the dough making I was doing right at the beginning. However I was thinking a lot about the idea of barriers and their presence in order to divide and segrate the landscape and people. Barriers whether physical or metaphoric are like in between spaces in themselves as they are in neither of the two or more places they are dividing. The barrier itself is no-mans-land making it everyone’s? Artist Trinh T. Minh-ha works with the notion of the barrier a lot in her work and I have been doing a lot of research into her thoughts as part of my dissertation. The video below is a very inspirational interview that helped to clarify and inspire more of my thinking about the wall and barrier and spaces between. Watching this video was one of those moments where I felt really good about the work I was making and positive to listen to someone of such intelligence and well respected in the art and literature world, speak about similar subjects and approaches.
Minh-ha see’s Twilight as an in-between space, as well as walls, passages, the act of walking and explains it so beautifully! I love her references to in between places being places of passage from one place to another, and being places of transformation as you go from one state of being to the next. I especially like the relation between Jacob’s Ladder as a place of physical passage and her ideas about walking being a spiritual act of transformation and how the act of walking allows one to perceive the world around you differently, re-evaluate and contemplate. The passageway like Jacob’s Ladder being an interval in the lay out of Falmouth and a place where people walk up steps (steps having their own ancient symbolism), transforming in the void of unimportance that passageways carry. It is a “proximity that keeps the possibilities open, keeps the interval alive” Minh-ha explains. She also talks of border lines and barriers in relation to world politics and their limiting characteristics. The addition of walls and barriers restricting flow and growth also the interesting concept of going over or under a wall or barrier.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this going over or between things so decided to start making ladders from dough. The ladder is an ancient universal tool that comes in many shapes and sizes and from many different materials for functional reasons. All over the world the ladder can’t really be improved and is still used everyday with the fundamental use of getting from one place to another. Ladders are also interesting as they are objects that can be transported and carried and have no fixed location. They have no fixed home and aren’t tied to a specific person or identity. They can be carried long distances but their function is always the same. Ladders are things we take for granted. I like the concept that the ladder as an object can be transported anywhere and will always be recognised as these characteristics are important to my work – the ladder has no home and is always in an in-between and indefinite state plus pretty much all humans will recognise its function. Instinctively knowing to use it to ascend or descend or cross between.
I placed the ladders up against the wall to the Corner Space, I didn’t leave them there but I want to make more and do this. Leaving them leading up the wall may cause people to look over it, think about going over something, over the barrier between the nothing space and their place of passage, defying the division. They might ignore them and not think at all and continue in their passing down the path, they might even steal one. All these potentials and more have their own connotations and could be read in many ways but in a public art piece like this, where art is in the public realm, there is no knowing what will happen to it or who will see it and what they will think. It feels cohesive to put art in public spaces considering my strong links to the overlapping of culture and overall importance of people.
Obviously the ladders are made from dough as well which may intrigue people, remind them of a moment from their childhood or spark an association to something. As I’ve mentioned before, bread is also universal and ancient, so as a sculptural material it automatically brings common understanding and knowledge together creating an overlapping in itself due to the overlapping of people’s recognition within the objects.
I also got my bisque fired step mold ceramics back. The lighter brown shapes are negatives of the indented part of the steps on Jacob’s Ladder and the darker shapes are positives from the lip of steps on Jacob’s Ladder. They fit together nicely.
Above is just one way I could display them using the cast of the Jacob’s Ladder step. I have swapped the placement of the molds. The ones on the top ridge were taken from the indented part of the step but the ones on the floor at the bottom of the step were taken from the step lip. They are interesting little objects as you can tell they have been pressed into a space from one side but the other just has the organic markings and prints from my hand. They are objects that present the connection my hand had with the steps.