This sculpture series comprises various pigmented plaster casts of spliced sisal and manila rope. In the production of these works, something ordinarily understood to be soft, shifting and adaptable is hardened and reproduced, in turn, subverting the flowing, changeable properties of rope and ossifying its final structure at the time of creating the silicone moulds from which each cast was taken.
In addition to the initial works in plaster, I later took various experimental casts in other materials from the moulds I had created, including paper pulp and resin, each of which presents a new form of distortion from the original pieces of spliced rope, and a change in character, physicality, weight and surface qualities.
This body of work emerged from my ongoing exploration of how materiality performs itself, not just as a record of the human body’s gestural and sensory capacities, but as a transformative event which plays with the viewer’s embodied knowledge and haptic perception. I am particularly drawn to the tensile strength and twisting structure of rope and the way that its contorted, knotted forms seem to be characterised by a sense of anthropomorphism, evocative of flexed muscles and fibrous sinews.
Four of these casts were exhibited at 'States of Mind', an exhibition curated by Yifan He, Lizzie Reid and me as part of Free Range 2019 at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London from 4th to 8th July, alongside work by seventeen other artists represented by Made in Arts London.
Smaller casts: 35 x 25 x 20cm each
Larger casts: 60 x 50 x 15cm each