LOOKING FOR DOGGERLAND 2019
A comment on Brexit and climate change.
Doggerland was a land mass on the East coast of the UK that physically joined us to Europe, and that was submerged at the end of the last Ice Age as the result of climate change.
27 x 29 x 11cm
THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF HOPE 2017
A investigation initiated by Merl Fluin and Paul Cowdell on the Isle of White:
Phase 1: Devise object labels
Write an exhibition label (postcard size) for an object to be excavated from the Surrealist future, and post to the initiators.
Phase 2: Create the objects
At the end of phase 1, one or more exhibition label(s) will be distributed to each player, who will then be invited to create the object(s) described in the label
Phase 3: Share the results – exhibition and gathering (and possible event) during the week of the summer Solstice
The label I received from Laurens Vancrevel (Holland)
Shard unearthed at Bantammerstraat
Homage to Gertrude Pape
Bantammerstraat is a small medieval road in Amsterdam between the early fortification moat of the city to the inner port; it crossed an intermediate area between city life and the outside world.
During works on the sewer system, pieces of pottery, crockery, broken bottles and shreds of decomposed woven tissue came to light.
A striking object in this accumulation of decayed ancient life reminded me of a line from a poem by Gertrude Pape, co-founder in 1941 (with poet Theo van Baaren) of the first Dutch surrealist journal called De schone zakdoek (The clean kerchief), produced during the bleak years of occupation and war.
The unearthed object, that in fact was composed of two elements, seemed to announce a revival of the spirit of poetry and game that animated the informal group of young poets and artists around Pape and Van Baaren.
FETISH (for voles) 2011-2015
60 x 36 x 13cm
medium: vole bones, collected and dissected over a summer from the pellets of a barn owl,
black wax, wire with dolls hands. The wire arms vibrate when touched.
Project by SLAG November 2011
The Proposed Game
To create a medical amulet that would be small enough to carry in your pocket, and that you would give away.
Those taking part to meet and exchange amulets, allowing the objects themselves to choose the individuals to whom they rightfully belong.
To carry the amulets around and record their powers and effects as they reveal themselves.
The amulet I gave away consisted of seven objects in a hand-sewn bag . Each object has a specific value and protective function. The objects can be felt but not seen.
The amulet I received fitted comfortably into the palm of my hand, and I found it very reassuring to hold and handle. My fingers kept moving over it, learning it's qualities, testing the shapes, getting to know it's weight
My Response: CRY WOLF 2012
35 x 18 x 20
I had let the amulet work on me in a sustained manner for 2 days, and this was the period that it exerted the most power. It directed my thoughts to all things concerned with loving and being loved. The first indication of the power of my amulet was when I visited the British Museum where the first things that I responded to, with a force that shook me, were two prehistoric, small, palm sized carvings. The first was a bone carving of a male and female reindeer swimming across a river, the male tenderly guiding and protecting the female from behind. It is the oldest carving on bone in the museum. The second was a prehistoric carving in stone of a human couple, male and female, in a total embrace, mind and body, while they made love. They were MAKING love. When this small sculpture is viewed from either the back-view of the male or the female (instead of the side which gives you the view of their embrace), it appears as a phallus. This is the oldest recorded figurine of a human male & female figure in a sexually intimate act.
VENUS AND DE MILO 2012
Venus evolved as a response to an invitation to take part in a performance at the private view of an exhibition by Patrick Hourihan. The remit was to create work that transnformed the performers' body and that included a doll.
De Milo had been made some years earlier and had been waiting to be completed. He and the wooden base were added after the performance.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT 2008
Works made in response to an invitation by The Prague Surrealist Group to exhibit at the Terezin Memorial Museum in the Czech Republic. This was a holding camp for Jews during the second World War while they were waiting to be transported to concentration camps. Most of the Jews held at Terezin were from Prague, and only a fraction of the 8,000 children transported from there, survived the war.
The title of the three pieces is a reference to the death camps and to Grimm's tale of Hansel and Gretel. All three pieces are covered in brown wax that imitates the look of chocolate.
The child's suitcase in each work recalls ideas of forced abandonment from all that's known and cherished, the poignancy of a journey into unknown danger.
The pre-school case No1 belonged to my youngest son and held all his most precious treasures when we left South Africa.
The use of clay as an armature for the wax in nos ! & 2 is a link to the Golem of Prague. The male figure in no 2 has a phial of family semen embedded in his torso, a reference to the tragedy of lost generations in the Holocaust and my own Jewish connection. The female has a child's milk teeth embedded in her torso which can be seen through the crystal that stands proud of her body.
The found dolls head in No 3 has the Star of David imprinted in the nape of the neck as well as an identifying number. It was manufactured in Germany at the end of the 19th century. The hair I used belonged to Caroline Weller. It was cut it off in 1927 when she was 28 years old on the advent of her marriage.
The three pieces were also exhibited at the Freud Museum because although not made specifically for the exhibition The Spaces of the Unconscious, they have a relevance to Freud himself. Terezin was where his sisters were incarcerated. One of his sisters was taken from there to a concentration camp and didn't return.
Various small pieces made with found objects/detritus and wax. 1995 -