At Riverhill I find myself drawn to transitional spaces and the forms of trees. Marginal, in-between places such as footpaths and gateways allow navigation from one area to another. Superficially, they’re modest, inconsequential, and easily overlooked but their worn, eroded surfaces reveal a long history of usage, a legacy of thousands of small daily man-made and environmental actions. Positioning sculpture in such a place draws attention to it forging connections between historical events, the recent endeavours of myself as artist, and the now instant of spectatorship where each image is ultimately remade afresh every time someone views the work.
I’m also fascinated by the way clusters of tree branches reach upwards in dense, disorganised groupings to cut abruptly across the frame of the landscape. Perhaps the lure is recognising a certain symbiosis in form between this and the characteristics of some of the small scaffolding sculptures in the ‘Installations that never were’ series?
I’m seduced and somewhat obsessed with the idea of working with scaffolding. It’s a re-usable component capable of infinite reconstruction and re-configuration so fits with my general interest collage. It also has vast untapped potential and offers the means to create multiple disparate forms other than the uniform structures it’s actually designed for. I’ve put forward a number of proposals involving scaffolding, none of which have been successful, and something seems to stop me pushing ahead full force with this project — perhaps both signs? The natural beauty of Riverhill feels like it forces the issue to an unavoidable head. In a nutshell, my dilemma; is it necessary to make the sculptural intervention at all or does making a small maquette eradicate the need to construct the real object? Perhaps the scaffold piece can be made in certain circumstances but for now stopping at the maquette is actually more suited to the message I wish to communicate? The maquette is a modest, light touch that makes the full-scale version feel somewhat self-indulgent, wasteful, and an unnecessarily dominant act.