|Satellites in the studio|
Friday, 20 September 2013
Not really a single piece, in fact it is 21 separate baskets and 4 balls.
For some time I have been making big pieces that pack small by designing them so that they can stack inside each other and be unpacked to make one big piece. It all started when I made a very large basket in my home/studio in London and then discovered that it wouldn’t go down the stairs or out of the front door. In the end it had to be lowered out of a first floor window. Over time the reasons for trying to achieve the ultimate in small parcels and big works have crystallised a bit further. It isn’t just practicality, it is also about having as light a footprint as possible. It seems illogical and rather stupid to make work that is as sustainable as it can be and then to use lots of resources, crates, packaging, special carriers, energy and money to ship it to an exhibition. So, I try now to design portability into the pieces wherever I can and whenever I have control over things I try to make sure they are shipped by the cheapest method possible, which is usually the post or in my car. Using these criteria this is possibly the most successful piece so far because the three nesting sets of baskets pack into a very small box.
Making functional baskets that are sculptural is an important part of what I do with my work. As I have said before, making work that is just sculpture is something I often don’t find as challenging or as interesting to do as trying to make it also functional. But occasionally I don’t succeed, because the visual and sculptural tend to take over, perhaps because it’s the bit I enjoy most. And with some commissions the purpose of the piece is just for it to be sculptural. The 21 baskets are perfectly functional but can be arranged in many different ways horizontally, vertically, free standing, stacked or hung - if all you want to do is look at them!