Monday, 13 September 2010

What's the hammock about?

Unbelievably it's all done. It was a typical dash to the finish the last six weeks but all the thinking and planning paid off. I had to test so many things, several times, at a smaller scale to be sure how they would work. The glass, that now seems so small when hung, took 4 castings to get right and took the most time. I'm so pleased with the colour and depth, it glows in the morning light. Didn't intend the nautical feel but its interesting to see how an idea can have many meanings. I wish I made the weaving bigger in every way but love the pattern and form. Knotting for 2 weeks made me stop at 4 meters! 'Trapeze', as I call the main piece, was finally about equilibrium, a battle with tension to achieve balance. All the associations with Malthus' theory that we will outgrow our resources are woven into the piece. It seems to merge with the church – it's rough twine and primitive forms.

One of the first comments I heard was 'what's the hammock about?'. How wonderful to imagine laying up there 5 meters above the brass knight on the floor! I thought of it more as a safety net for a high wire act but perhaps hammock represents balance better.

Twine wasn't my only new material. Having used concrete for sculpture bases before, it felt like the right material to completely integrate with glass in the this setting. The chemical mix is important but hand mixing is exhausting. However the dense and rough texture is the perfect contrast with the glass. The energy of the marks I recorded from around the church is still there in my crude glass bending as it juts out of the block. They have an eerie presence in the natural light of the windows. Many people didn't realise that the glass goes all the way through, the simple effect of edge lighting.

The chancel seemed a good place for the lichen photos and a few of my humble monoprints. They were part of the process but have a strength of their own. I've learned many things while working in a large space: bigger is better; leave extra time to experiment with new materials; record your thoughts (even re-reading the blog helped); test things in the space – it will tell you more than sketching. This place has gotten under my skin and will continue to inspire me.