The extremely extensive breath of experiences that we underwent this year undeniably helped me to respond in my own individual way, and find my unique voice and direction.
I found my own way of working with clay where like a gardener, I am allowing the clay to grow beneath my fingers into forms, manifesting the underlying systems of growth – whereas personal or social, of ideas, or by looking at detailed botanical drawings, of biological growth.
Over the course of year my catalyst object from the Ken Stradling Collection – The Penguin Donkey has provided me with depths of ideas, which profoundly evolved around the knowledge I acquired through exploration of public art spaces in my first FIELD and through critical look at art collections, museums, galleries and the art world in my second FIELD. My Constellation had immense philosophical impact on shaping my practice, exploring ideas by Ingold, Hodder, Abram, Klingan or Wallace around post-anthropocentric, less humancentred design and approach in making.
Whereas the initial ideas that arose from the Ken Stradling Collection circled around high-end design, which was functional yet redefining-ways of living and organisation. They developed to the ideas around living; class, social and personal development.
The furniture piece created specially for Penguin Books, which very much represents the democratisation of knowledge, making great works of literature available for the the first time to the masses in a cheap, portable format.
Eventually, my ideas boiled down to the essence of growth and it’s conditions and systems – whereas personal, social, organic or inorganic.
Seeing Victor Pasmore’s piece in the Tate Modern was a great inspiration and motivation for this direction, as well as work by Ana Lupas, Nao Matsunaga, Angus Suttie, Phyllida Barlow, Ann Gibbs, Yup Look Mun, and multiple botanical illustrators such as Walther Otto Muller, Katie Scott or Ernst Haeckel.
The development of my ideas went hand in hand with my practical work, trying to manifest and develop the ideas in my sketchbook and further. Whereas in beginning I looked at functional designed objects, I produced technical drawings to guide me in plaster lathe turning; later I moved to more free and organic drawing and hand building which really helped me extend the ideas further towards spaces, systems of organisation and clarification, and containment.
Through further practice, questioning and the free experience of La Pedrix residency I could then join, strip down and curate my ideas and material exploration, such as aluminium casting, to one outcome that I could exhibit in our end of year show at CSAD.
It not only includes my latest work focused on the exploration of growth through clay and my hands (of which unfortunately a large part was destroyed in an explosive bisque firing), but also the journey my ideas went through, morphing from a ‘seed’ through different forms, capturing a garden in the process of growing and changing.
Exhibiting in the Ken Stradling Collection was a very different experience, much more curated and direct with the restriction of taking only a few items over to Bristol.
Exhibiting alongside the seed to my work was so essential; it brought the work back to it’s context, but still standing on it’s own as a solid development to the ideas that created the original Penguin Donkey.