One aspect of making sculpture is working with the physicality of materials, using the assets of the materials one chooses as a language. This can make sculptors obsessive about gathering materials that may become a new adjective or verb.
As an artist who also facilitates others in making sculpture, I am constantly looking for equivalent materials to those used by ‘professional’ sculptors that can be used safely, without having a high level of skill and yet have an immediacy of presence and three-dimensionality. I often find these materials in DIY and trade shops or on eBay.
‘Making a promise’ is a kind of catalogue of some of the materials I have amassed, showing a range of different types and their abilities to be manipulated simply or not. It shows the promise these materials have to become tangible metaphors.
I made a series of small sculpture where I combined two different materials. Having photographed them I decided that the images have more presence than the physical objects as due to their larger scale, they reveal details and nuances of how the materials behave.
I have taken the unprecedented step for me in presenting the work only as photographs. This gives this ephemeral work made from cheap materials an altered value. It exists in a different space, can be reproduced and therefore shown and sold in a different way to sculpture.
I collaborated with artist Peter Griffiths to take the photographs. They are inkjet prints on Museum Heritage paper.
To mark the end of my 2018 sabbatical, I am presenting new work at DINA Sheffield.
Friday 7th September, 4-7 and Saturday 8th September 10-4.
I will be showing three new series of work; The Dilemma of the Non-ephemeral Artefact, Making a Promise and Other Possibilities for Non-essential Utensils. This is not a selling event; it is an opportunity for me to share what I have been making and get feedback from friends, colleagues and anyone else who drops by.
On Friday there will be drinks and nibbles.
On Saturday DINA Diner is open for vegetarian/vegan food and drink.
The event will take place upstairs in the Jara room, the entrance of which is on Bethel Walk, off Cambridge Street, right next to DINA Diner.
A Nottinghamshire YMCA and Nottingham Contemporary partnership.
Since October 2016 I have been collaborating with lens artist Ben Harriott on Interconnect, an Arts Council funded project to develop an identity for the new training area of the YMCA homeless hostel in Nottingham City Centre, by developing artistic interventions and artworks with the hostel community.
The generous support of Julie MacDonald, High Sheriff of South Yorkshire 2016-17, enabled Yorkshire Artspace to commission me in May 2016 to work with around 90 children to create a permanent artwork for Manor Lodge Primary School that celebrates Sheffield’s past and present as a city of makers.
The artwork was launched in December and is made up of eight wall panels, with individual elements created by all 90 pupils mounted onto them.
I am moving studio this Summer so I am having a two day show of my large sculpture which I won’t be able to move with me. This work has been seen in exhibitions around the country.
The show will be in the Atrium at Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works, 21 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS.
I am inviting all my friends to come and see it for the last time. If there is a piece you would like for your garden, please make me an offer; money, services, even pots of jam will all be considered. It would be nice if at least some of the pieces found good homes.
Since May 2015, Jo Dacombe and I have been working with the Learning Team at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on their action research project ‘Learning Together’, exploring new ways to engage families. We worked with families from five schools in the Wakefield District, looking at lots of different ways to interact with and interpret the sculpture and landscape.
As a result of our discoveries, we have developed some resources and activities for families to use to increase their enjoyment and understanding while visiting the Park, which should be available sometime in 2016.
On 27th November 2015 the conference ‘Finding Our Voice’ was held at Nottingham Contemporary to share learning from the Loudspeaker project with delegates from the creative, voluntary, education, health and criminal justice sectors. As the artists who delivered this innovative project for women facing complex life challenges, Jo Dacombe and I spoke about our experiences of working with around 70 women from Nottingham over the past three years, and how contemporary art and creative practice can play a positive role in engaging and supporting people.
A short film essay made by myself, Jo Dacombe and Ben Harriott with women who had participated in Loudspeaker was screened. You can watch the film here.