I remember very clearly the site meeting that secured me the opportunity of presenting my work at Tremenheere. At this meeting with Neil Armstrong the director of Tremenheere, he related to me a tale about how he had invited Nick Serota to discuss the potential of the Tate’s involvement in the provision of a public work on the very site of the work I was proposing. Serota had suggested Richard Serra as the artist to do justice to the place. The involvement of Serra was out of the financial reach of that project and though many were interested nothing came of it. This story caught my imagination and idly resurfaced in my imagination from time to time during the project. I think this conversation became unintentionally influential in the eventual design. Later, by coincidence I went on to have a conversation with artist Rupert White on the evening of the burn. In this he commented on how sculptural the work was [which I think caught a lot of people by surprise] and reminiscent of early Richard Serra.
The taming of a wild material such as furze was an objective of the project. It came about through wanting to respond to the differences, sometimes extreme, in the types of environments I was dealing with. I adopted an anal retentive outlook and applied it to the construction and finish [tightly manicured] of the work. This referred to our dominance of nature. What I had by the end was a very strong sculptural form. If it had been simply a stack of faggots the impact of destruction would have been lessened. The laborious intensively managed nature of the work was evident. This way the wastage was heightened.
Project outline:CUT/STACK/BURN is a performative re-enactment of a redundant rural activity - furze cutting for domestic fuel (or gorse outside of cornwall). The project uses art installation as a platform to develop a visual conversation about the implications and absence of sustainable approaches in the management of land and its resources. Our current use of energy in an age of climate change becomes a focal point and pivotal issue in this visual debate.