Linear, slight & arched steel forms hold fractured images of hands & plant-life, their size approximates to the scale of a body, softening into the existing landscape –
Or more accurately, it starts with my hands in the earth, Powder coated steel & sublimation print on aluminium, Milton Keynes, 2018
The work developed over the course of the project takes many forms; it is a conversation, a workshop, a score, an assembly of images & a sequence of sculptures.
Framed by an interest in the entanglements between the natural world & contemporary society, alongside the post humanist writing of Donna Harraway & metaphysical speculations of Fernando Pessoa, the project is centred around the notion of ‘thinking-with’ the landscape. The work responds directly to the site of Peartree Bridge & in particular ‘thinking-with’ the ecologies of the trail route – the marshlands, shrubs, weeds, grasses & plant-life.
Structured through two participatory workshops & a research visit to the MK archive, the residency began with a workshop based around the earth-material clay. Working with local residents, we produced a series of slip-cast and hand-built sculptures, referencing the diagrammatic drawings of John Csáky, an environmental designer & member of the planning division at Milton Keynes Development Cooperation. Housed at MK Archive, his drawings include proposals for realised and unrealised public sculptures, with an emphasis on the relationship between the public body & both natural & artificial ecosystems – including the proposal for ‘Water Organ’ 1974 & the ‘Loughton Balancing Lakes’ 1974, also known as the ‘Teardrop Lakes’. The clay sculptures were also informed by ‘Moribana’ arrangements, one of the classic expressions of the ancient Japanese practice of ‘Ikebana’, which loosely translates to ‘keep alive, arrange flowers, living’.
Using collaborative methods, performative frameworks & an open-ended score, we collectively developed a series of ceramic objects, plant-life arrangements & haptic images.