Research/process/Sculpture

In preparation for Index, a site-specific group show at St Pancras Crypt Gallery, I explored the church and the crypt, with its four distinctive Greek caryatids standing sentinel outside, and knew that I wanted to create a sculpture that might echo and contrast with these idealized figures. In my practice, I had been exploring questions concerning control, awareness and the collapsing boundaries between public and private life, real and virtual experience. Reflecting on wider connotations of burial, concealment and vigilance, I began to see ways this distinctive site and my research might connect.   

 

I created several machetes to determine the posture of the body, and after experimenting with materials settled on mud-roc as it was easily manipulable and, when heavily applied, created a smooth effect while still retaining enough imperfections and subtle texture to suggest the layering underneath. Aiming for an effect that hovered between the human and apparitional, I tried various paints before deciding that white reflective gloss would best suit the lighting in the crypt. I had recently attended a symposium on the American painter Leon Golub, and was struck by the way the figures he depicts in conflict and struggle seem more arresting for not being fully individualized. I believe this had a bearing on my process as I created the finish for Lime Light.

I worked for a long time on the shape and positioning of the hands in relation to the extension and camera, wanting to encourage an openness of interpretation depending on the viewer and angle of viewing (the piece was positioned in a way that people could walk around it). I was pleased, then, at the exhibition when viewers interpreted the posture variously as submission, rejection, worship, defensiveness and grasping.