‘Nail Box’ is a sculpture greatly indebted to and influenced by the minkisi artefacts of central Africa. Many of these ritualistic objects are carved wooden totems that have had nails and other metal items hammered into them. However, where as the minkisi derive their power from their contents, with ‘Nail Box’ I was trying to create something that had a powerful presence derived purely from its adornment of carefully selected nails, screws and other various metal implements.
As is the case with many of my sculpture, the found materials used in this piece's construction were selected for their ‘resonance’ and collected over several years. And by using so many metal items that had interacted with the elements and their specific environments I hoped to create a piece that would generate a cumulative resonance.
Whilst most of the nails and screws used in this piece were found in London, (anywhere from the streets of Hackney to the inside of the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral) much of it was collected from the my travels around Britain and abroad, including Europe, Mexico, Cambodia, Thailand, Tunisia and India.
Considering the obsessive nature behind the way I collect and hoard the materials that I use in my work, I see these sculptures as totems or magnifications of the ritualistic side of everyday life. Physical embodiments of the personal belief systems we all create around us.
Wood, metal and casters