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.
Sunday, 29 April 2007
When working as a stone hedger in south and west Cornwall I was continually presented with a chaotic mass of stone and earth out of which I was expected to create order. The satisfaction of creating a uniform structure that came out of a situation like this was enormously satisfying. I drew heavily upon these experiences for the skills to develop and create the work. I originally had intended to produce a form that referenced the architecture of the home or farmstead and its associated landscape features such as haystacks, but moved away from this to avoid what I perceived to be an encroaching link to paganism and the melodrama that this seemed to bring. My conceptual and research developments led me to consider more appropriate forms of architecture in contemporary industrial fuel storage as a reference point. Knowing what I would eventually produce would be a traditional rick [energy store] built in a contemporary form I was inspired by these large circular steel plate constructions. The fact that I wanted to also release the energy stored within the gorse through fire and witness its’ eventual transition to carbon emission was further underlined by the connection with the recent petrochemical fires at Buncefield in the south east. This was conceptually important in the development of a steel support frame for the work. It was born of a desire to see something in conceptual opposition [steel wreckage] to the projects ethos. Further to this I wished to attach the event to a particular event in the calendar. Having designed the project to be a performative and temporary work I wanted it to remain as a strong memory in the mind of the audience. Each time the audience experiences that event they would remember the work due to the projects association to it. Bonfire night, Christmas, winter solstice or New Year? They were all heavily laden with meaning and I feared that they might dominate the work. After closer and more realistic examination of the timescale of the project I began to favour spring equinox [but still too heavy with its’ own associations] but favoured the anomaly imposed on the beginning of British summer time [turning the clocks back/interfering with time] as the appropriate calendar event. This seemed a more mechanical response to the seasons than a naturally occurring development of cultural interaction.
Posted by bruce at 3:31 am