Walking through the derelict Mill buildings, I have come across so many strange objects which I tend to see as remnant sculptures, left behind as the industrial function departed. I don’t have the technical knowledge or language to name these objects for their function, and so, to me they become the contents of some big industrial cabinet of curiosites, and I have to resist the temptation to collect them for my own personal cabinet! These objects had purpose and utility but divested of their function and “abstracted from any practical context they take on a strictly subjective status” (Cultures of Collecting, Elsner and Cardinal (Eds) 1997), so I have have been deliberately trying to avoid naming them in order to analyse them purely for their shape, colour, texture …..and even smell!!
Some of these objects could easily be identified as tools of some sort, but others are far more weird, wonderful and positively Heath Robinson..esque! Some people viewing this blog may well be able to identify the contraption below…please do not contact me with a name or description of its purpose. I suspect my imagined purpose is far more outlandish than the reality and I want to keep it that way!
A lot of my work revolves around documenting through photography (though I am not a photographer!) and I now have a huge collection of photographs from around the Mill complex. I will be using these to develop some of my pieces for the exhibition in October but I have also found many of these objects quite intriguing, and simple recording them is not quite enough.
So, I have been borrowing a few from site and have taken casts of them to make new objects. So far I have only made three casts and this process is new to me so I am on a bit of a learning curve. But it has thrown up some interesting questions (well for me anyway!) which are about …..well you will have to judge for yourself if you come to see the exhibition. But in the meantime here are a few examples of my experiments so far….