In answer to the question of what I have been up to since graduation. Well, yes it’s been an eventful year so far. In autumn last year I completed my MA in Metal at the Sir John Cass Department of Art at the London Metropolitan University. Also, I am delighted to say that I am now a member of CAA, Perry Street, London where my work can be seen and where I had my first Focus exhibition in February this year.
I am currently on an extended Art retreat in Germany. Why did I decide to undertake this retreat? As my ongoing research interest lies in the phenomenological experience of space I decided that in order to keep my work alive I needed to explore new environments. I am concentrating on areas close to water. I have so far spent a number of weeks in the ‘Teufelsmoor’ (Devil’s Moor) in Worpswede, North Germany.
A fascinating and slightly mysterious bog landscape, below sea-level and built on several layers of peat. On sunny days there is an environment of intense stillness and timelessness which can change quickly to an almost unsettling ambiance when the previously silvery bog water appears black and inaccessible. This place is so intriguing and inspiring that I feel inclined to spend more time here. Later I plan to move to an island in the North Sea followed by a stay at a lake in the Harz Mountains.
My aim is to create a new body of work which embodies my perception and emotional response to these places. Naturally, I am hoping that these pieces will invite the viewer to engage with my work and to ‘feel touched’ by them. I came across this quote by Johann van Goethe, who wrote: “The hands want to see, the eyes want to caress” and Juhani Pallasmaa wrote that the “touch is the sensory mode that integrates our experience of the world with ourselves”.
I apply vitreous enamel to my metal containers to create surfaces that add to our sensory experience of a piece. Different application and firing processes allow me to express an infinite variety of perception.
Below are images of one of my first pieces based on my time here.
This piece, ‘Experiencing black singularities’, consists of a silver container with a small, black enamelled dot on the lid. Only when physically handling the piece will it become apparent that the small black dot is only the first of a long chain of dots hidden inside. Despite the fact that I used the same black enamel for each dot, each individual disc looks different. Some were fired ones, some have several layers of enamel, some are still shiny and highly reflective while others were partly stoned back. I also added random amounts of black bog soil particles thus raising the enamelled surface at places.
Some of the effects achieved through the application of different enamelling processes were unforeseen but I welcome and fully embrace this element of surprise which also corresponds with the varying, unexpected perceptions of this forever changing scenery.
I want my work to be a never ending journey of discovery.