Material Conversations

My practice has always been restricted to 2d, but for many years I have wanted to explore sculpture. For whatever reason I have not been able to find a way into doing so; I seemed to have some kind of mental block that prevented me from entering the round. As a way in, I decided to try collaborating with other artists to create sculptural work – by releasing control of the work, at least partly, I found I was able to explore this new medium and way of working. I collaborated with Adam Newton and Zara Carpenter to create work for the Sick! exhibition in 2017, and the next artist I planned to work with was Wendy Daws.

While speaking to Jane Pitt, the curator of Ideas Test in Sittingbourne I told her about the collaboration I had planned – In Wendy’s studio I discovered a piece of work she made during her degree – a sheet of rubber latex with marks imprinted into it, which I found very intriguing. I suggested we collaborate to create something similar and she was very keen – I had worked with Wendy several times previously as curator, but it would be our first time making work together. We ended up deciding to do the collaboration with Jane on board as curator –  Ideas Test have a history of working with excellent artists who make challenging and interesting work, and we all felt it would be great to make the work specifically for their space, with an element of live making also involved.

The project developed quickly and organically, and I must say the whole process, from inception to installation was absolutely effortless – which is entirely down to how comfortable and natural it was working with Wendy, and the Ideas Test team (Jane, Daisy and Jade). So here’s a little film about the making of the work, to give you a sense of how it came together. I hope you enjoy it.

Just to briefly explain the process in case the film doesn’t elucidate entirely how it was made – Wendy and I made drawings of each other over several sessions in my studio, we then collected the drawings together and traced them onto acetate with hot glue guns, so that the drawings were now 3d. We then covered the whole thing is about 6 layers of liquid latex, which once dry could be peeled off to create a semi-translucent, amber coloured sheet of rubber with the drawings engraved into the surface, allowing the light shining through it to become the drawing. The whole project was so much fun, and it was great to work with Wendy and Ideas Test, and I very much hope to do something else with them in the future.

Thank you to everyone involved, and everyone that came along to the exhibition!


photo: Matilda Flood

photo: Matilda Flood