Friday, 28 November 2008

Bronze stairs

Blurb about Staircase piece - notes ONLY

So, this piece, which I am still working on, is composed and inspired by elements of a dream. I am particularly interested in the alternative reality of the subconscious, and attempting to create physical manifestations of these ethereal experiences and discover ways to transfer these emotive thoughts from my mind into objects.
I have been collecting dreams through sketches and voice recordings over the last few months and I have been focussing on a couple of the strongest ones that have incorporated some elements of landscape, like this staircase. Initially I was only building individual things from the dreams, say a staircase, particular chairs or objects that were represented but once I had built the staircase I realised that all my sketches were showing a narrative from the dream and I have been experimenting with ways to represent the story. Recently I went to a great talk at the BFI and a particular phrase stuck in my head that 80% of the emotion from a film is in the soundtrack so I have built a very basic video – taken from one image and then been building the narrative using the audio part of that. So the staircase has some large gaps between the treads and the audio is me walking down the steps – seeing that I’m walking down into a news studio and then running and struggling to climb back up the stairs.

Bronze – I started working in bronze, initially by chance but I soon loved the modelling possibilities with wax which lead to ideas involving melted scenes, then cast in bronze it is sealing and crystallising something so ethereal in the most solid and substantial material is both paradoxical and exciting to me.

Miniature – by creating this work on a small scale, it involves the viewer in an intense, focused attention. A single tiny work can appear at once assertive and humble, or intimate yet oddly remote. [...] Perhaps this is why Bachelard observed that "one must go beyond logic in order to experience what is large in what is small."

But miniatures also seem to exist in a state of haunted isolation, to occupy a permanently vacated scene. Physically, we stand outside their tiny domain, and when we imaginatively enter within it, we find ourselves its sole inhabitants.

Part of their appeal is to transport us to a world that is more precise, and more meticulously elucidated, than our own; charmingly perfect, they constitute a refuge from the domain of gross physical data and corporeal failings. The halo of the ideal seems to hover overhead. [...] The stillness of miniature landscapes evinces the profound calm of a tiny parallel world forever cut off from the activity and ungainliness of our own surroundings.'

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