This piece was created for the exhibition 'The Way We See It' which brought various artists from around West Somerset together for their yearly exhibition at Contains Art in Watchet. I was honoured to show a piece I had been asked to work on as part of SAW Open Studios.
The piece explores various themes associated with Watchet and the River Severn. Through this piece I was exploring various historical themes, exploring the history of the area and the river.
The carved surface responds to the idea of fossil hunters finding fossils and how they shape them to sell on a commercial basis - carving the surface away to reveal the fossilised object within the rock. The carved biomorphic forms also respond to our ancient Jurassic and Triassic past. The black charcoal paint responds to the use of fire by humankind which lead to the mining of iron ore and its smelting to form metal objects/ technology as represented by the metal black tacks holding the cotton string. The cotton string records a GPS recorded journey walking around fossil beach in Watchet, but also resonates with the cotton trade and the shipping of raw materials to Bristol, ready to be used in the manufacture of goods to trade. The use of the string also corresponds to the measuring of distance, when one would use string to trace a journey to measure distance.
The corresponding uses of black (charcoal) and white (cotton) also highlights the history of the slave trade, synonymous with the River Severn and the Bristol Channel.
Overall this piece of relief sculpture responds to a wide history, exploring through conceptual means our past and its influence on our present and into our future.
Charcoal Paint, Metal Tacks, White cotton string, MDF Hardwood
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