Throughout the pandemic a group of South West based sculptors including myself met regularly on zoom for mutual support. All of us are members of the Royal Society of Sculptors and the idea emerged of having an exhibition together to celebrate the connections we had forged.
The exhibition, Together We Rise, is showing throughout summer 2022 in Chichester Cathedral and is curated by Jacquiline Creswell.
My contribution is called ‘Fuse’ and is composed of sections of body casts taken from the members of the RSS Southwest group who make up the exhibitors. The sculpture aims to act as a counterpoint and antidote to the extreme physical isolation we felt during lockdown, as and takes our relationships with each other from the digital sphere into to the physical. During the making of this piece many of the artists visited my studio, or I theirs, where the physical process of casting necessitated physical contact and trust.
In the casts I am drawn to ‘mistakes’ as much as ‘perfection’, as I am in our human bodily existence. In a digital age I hope to draw attention to unusual beauty, vulnerability and strength of the reality of our working bodies. The lived experience of wrinkles and pores, creases and rolls, tissue and joints is captured in fascinating detail in white plaster; the ‘classical’ result somehow at odds with the bodily reality we all live within. The casting flaws are left visible, somehow for me chiming with and expressing the fragmentation and vulnerability so many of us experienced during the pandemic.
Despite the casts being individual imprints, they have become abstracted to reveal underlying similarity of being made of flesh. These biomorphic forms attempting to capture inner experience as opposed to outer appearance and celebrate our communality as human beings.
Photo: Russell Sach