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A panorama view of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf. As shown at Civilians, May 2019

Enlightenment is an installation consisting of about a dozen partial figures in various media including raw dried clay, bisque fired earthenware, glazed fired earthenware, plaster and papier maché.

Above and below: A panoramic view of Enlightenment at Civilians May 2019, An installation at The Garage, Brighton

A panorama view of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf

The piece is my endeavour to capture a sense of collective presence, to define with inanimate media how it feels to be part of a human group with a singular purpose or deeply felt shared experience.

A tableau of 13 or more figures in terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache on stands illuminated by LED lights

Above: A test tableau of the installation of 13 or more figures in terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache on stands made of cardboard and mdf and illuminated by LED lights.

An unglazed terra cotta figure 20cm wide which is part of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf

A glazed terra cotta figure 20cm wide which is part of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf

The work is conceived as a rolling project, as individual pieces are sold they will be replaced until such a point as the project comes to a natural end or someone buys the complete installation.

A semi-solid unfired buff clay figure 15cm wide which is part of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf

A glazed terra cotta figure 20cm wide which is part of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf

This piece started out as an experiment. I started making solid figures and piercing them with various tools, sticks and plastic implements. I then started using the solid forms as moulds to make shell forms. I used pre-perforated sheets of clay or I made a shell then pierced it by cutting or driving implements into the moulded forms. If you look at the clay figures you should be able to discern the difference between the two methods: Holes that are cut and holes that are driven in.

Enlightenment. Work in progress on a clay figure 20cm wide which is part of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in mixed media.

A plaster figure 25cm wide which is part of a developing installation of 13 or more figures in glazed and unglazed terra-cotta, plaster and papier mache illuminated by LED lights on stands made of cardboard and mdf

On the whole I worked fast as I wanted to create a crowd of figures. I think it was important to work spontaneously and accuracy was not much of a consideration. At various points I became anxious that the proportions of the figures were ‘wrong’. I no longer consider this very important as the objects manage to retain their ‘presence’ despite a lot of variation in proportions and any sense of realism or accuracy.

At one stage I made a solid clay figure and cut channels into it so I could reduce it in all dimensions so that a sheet of clay wrapped over it would be approximately well proportioned. (See above left)

The experimental approach continued with other materials such as plaster on a wire armature and papier maché. The informal and experimental approach seems to be an integral part of the piece. Very few of my other works have quite the same characteristics. Working with a ceramics process tends to push you towards a planned and measured way of working with a constant effort to control the medium and make it predictable to some degree.

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