My fascination with fire led me to try my hand on bronze casting, I could never quite understand it when explained to me, I had to see it for myself. Soon understanding that indeed a lengthy and complicated process lies behind the ancient fascination to preserve form with precious metal. I went with the aim to understand the process which I gained a glimpse of. The two most impressive aspects for me, the ‘runners and risers’ a circulation system attached to the original or model to let the molten metal run freely into the mould and for the air to escape…much like the circulation system of our body. This as well as the melting of metal followed by the pouring, the colour change as the bronze cooled down in temperature, multicoloured process on many levels…
We have been setting up in the Goods Shed one week now..I have my mind blown at times by the complexity of possibilities. Awareness is high and confusion multitude, I am learning the importance of the right light, light can change everything, it can concentrate or diffuse and to decide what we want to concentrate on is not easy considering the many possibilities given. Paul and myself have played with many possibilities in our minds, by moving pieces around, trying to let the space throw some ideas at us. For me some aspects speak strongly and they start to focus the space, intention is tangible. This time is a journey of new discoveries, I have a much better understanding of space and how everything about a space is of importance, the floor with it’s cracks, the walls, the space above our heads and the space (out of physical reach but accessible for our eyes) under the roof. Shadows, long shadows, blury shadows, shadows so close to the object that it is hard to tell the object from it’s shadow.
Since the beginning of this week Paul Grellier and myself have been setting up in the Goods Shed, Stroud for “Convergence& Space”…going through the normal motions of setting up for a exhibition, all the uncertainty and excitement that comes with it. But somehow it has aspects I have not encountered before…we are working in a huge space, two train carriages can easily fit in here, this space is full of possibilities, sometimes to many possibilities float around in our minds. The other aspect is that Paul and myself have not collaborated before, which is not at all a problem if anything it is a observation, having just spend a few days on my own at “The Sheds” working, I can see how a huge space and working with another artist and his way of going about setting up is inspiring, at moments unsettling (especially when Paul decides to climb along the beams of the roof to install work). Some things about collaborating are difficult to put into words, it is a bit like magic.
Equipped with tracing paper and graphite I am on my way…taking wall rubbings of several segments that seem of interest for a multitude of reasons as it seems in hindesight. Take an impression of the form, rhythm in the brickwork, cracks….
Inside outside, threat or shelter, outside freedom, inside closed, held, protected…..
I have been here before when I embarked on the wall rubbings for the walled garden at the Museum in the Park/ Stroud..seems that walls rekindle the childhood memory, the “Berliner Mauer” and the fence cutting through the land that was my home.
I am here again, this time equipped with enough time to embark on my own project…during a walk with my friend Kay around a muddy field in Wiltshire, surrounded by those typical Wiltshire hills, rolling on and on…we stumble across a second world war viewpoint. My temptation to walk in is instant, so is the fear of what might meet me on the other side. Intrigue pulls me in, fear pulls me away. Step by step I walk into the dark, disorientated, moments of chaos, sinking and rising stomach…moments later al is settling down in and around. Kay is telling me that this place was to watch out for german intruders coming along the canal, meters away from us. Waiting for german soldiers, waiting, waiting, looking out on the ready to shoot..
Nothing terrible is waiting for me here, closed walls all around me, walls blocking the entrance when I look around, slots let the light in and the reflection bounces jolly on water that has been collected below the slot. The outside looks bright, I am in the dark, feeling protected by this box of concrete and brick.