Sunday, 18 November 2012

What Lies Beneath?

Over the past year, T and I have noticed that there's a strange parallel in our work and the themes behind it.  It's not that we're interested in the same things, and certainly not that our work is similar (it probably couldn't be more different!) but that when one of us finds something, there's usually a flip side for the other.  Recently she introduced me to the work of the art brut artist Judith Scott.

Born deaf and with Down Syndrome, Scott was encouraged to work creatively in a fibre art class while living in a group home in California and began to collect materials and wrap them in yarn. Constantly hoarding objects and often stealing things to add to her collection, Scott began to create sculptures that resembled distorted human figures or cocoons. Whilst I'm not as interested in the sculptures as T, I am drawn to the idea of things buried beneath layers, and the potential for release and transformation. 

untitled, Judith Scott, (1994)

I recently passed T a link for the sculptor Steve Dilworth (without much consideration on my part tbh!) that she found it very interesting.  It was only later that I realised how interesting he is from my view point too.  Based in one of my favourite places, Harris, many of his scupltures contain things that he has collected from the beaches around the island including sand, water, feathers and bird and fish carcasses. Again it made me think about what lies within; what has been hidden and has the potential at some point to be rediscovered.

Dune, Steve Dilworth, 1998.  Bronze containing sand from a dune.

It was actually a suggestion that P made that made me go back and look at Dilworth's work; that I think about burying the things I collect on my beach walks in the concrete objects I've been thinking of making.  Once again, the idea that once eroded by time and elements what was hidden will be revealed.

Since discussing my 'oh oh' moment with my mum (!) it makes me wonder if I'm the only person who couldn't work out what my work was about?!


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