It was real pleasure to have been invited back to Leeds Arts University to exhibit my Ice Sculptures in the form of a 'live' experimental melt installation over the month of May. Due to its success it was extended over the BA final show into June.
Curator Catriona McAara chose to show the work as hanging pieces within a closed glass fronted cabinet. The work was originally exhibited in a more open pristine way and it has been a great insight observing its presentation as a piece with less intervention.
Replaced everyday the Ice Sculptures were hung and left to melt over the acrylic cubes. The majority of detritus was collected within these cubes and left to decompose with no real intervention. As the weeks progressed the build up of organic matter become stagnant as it decomposed. The build up of decay and rotting matter produced a distinctive odour which was only experienced when the glass doors to the cabinet were opened. This concept of containment has been an added outcome not previously envisaged and something of great interest to take forward.
The installation's direct association with 'Vanitas'; still life paintings from the 16th & 17th century which reminded the viewer of the shortness and fragility of life is clearly represented in the physical and real presence of these vulnerable ice forms.
With no reference to pristine unspoilt environments this installation has taken over its space through the splashes of dripping water and uncalculated collections of ephemeral matter such as leaves, grass, clay and charcoal accumulating outside of the cubes and on the walls and surfaces of the cabinet. These white surfaces offered a canvas in which to view the 'mark making' capabilities of organic materials; a concept of which was the starting point and driving force of this particular 'Ice' project.
It has been an odd experience handing over this work and not being able to observe the daily revealing through melt of the many sculptures made. Each piece of work reveals a different entity only briefly experienced before it thaws and not knowing how their contents were aesthetically immersed played on my mind. Logistically this has not been an easy installation to maintain but challenges are what inform and drive process and practice forward and I am never shy of a challenge. Producing this work on a larger scale is something I would like to work towards for the future.
A huge thank you to Doctor Catriona McAra and Mathew Weeldon for the opportunity and support in showing this work.
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