Personal Growth

Installation sculpture provides a physical experience. The site of and relationship between parts of the work are as important as the materials used. The environment is the common link between the artists; it’s constructed, managed and natural elements. In their work the artists explore how these elements interact.

Underlying art, there has always been the social function of the artist as an interpreter of cultural values. As friends the artists are also connected through a love of gardening, digging and growing vegetables. This exhibition draws on these connections and questions the sustainability of cultural and economic systems. It attempts to offer new understanding of how we relate to the world.

Using the Pine Gallery as a site of open-ended experimentation has allowed the artists to test observations and make interventions into the materials and processes of growth. The ideas being developed have started from: tapping into a moment of transcendence – the nuts and bolts of technologies connecting with the wonder of a starry night; exploring impermanence through the information encoded in the materials of everyday objects; focusing on the miniature world of plants and having attention brought to the detail, delicacy and sheer beauty of communities and relationships; and exploring the rituals, beliefs and language of a cultures’ approach to maintenance.

Within the constant light levels and the continuous walls and floor of the workspace; the artists have used live materials, bringing issues of preservation, constancy and control to the fore. Sculpture’s requirement to manipulate a material from an understanding of how it behaves has had to incorporate considering less stable elements: levels of enzymes, moisture content and conditions for photosynthesis. Through artists’ discussions of materials and how they function, in this ‘studio’ environment the notion that on one timescale or another everything is impermanent and all will pass has been raised. “Time is the essence of the real design problem.” (Duffy 1990) Rather than a perspective of futility the artists have been engaged in fixing, harvesting, controlling, using grids and systems, moving, grouping, ordering and organizing.

The works in this exhibition are not intended to be fully resolved, final pieces but work that begins to question ‘ways that we relate to nature in an urban setting’ through sculpture based research.

Duffy, F. Measuring Building Performance Facilities, May 1990 p. 17.