Experimenting with display ideas for my bronze mushroom sculptures. Commenting on the balancing act of nature, how each element affects the next. The complex layers that make up our natural world.
Concept: the balance of nature, and how it rests in our hands. A comment on the precariousness of nature, and how our input impacts it.
Further exploration around the theme of our connection with nature.
Presenting them in bell jars, similar to a museum/science exhibition. Act of preserving, viewing, retaining.
Plaster casts of a bracket mushroom.
Exploring the fragility of nature and its preservation.
For this piece I cast the same mushroom three times. Playing with the concept of manufacturing something that is a one off. Nature is not something that can be replicated, and so in this way this piece is an affront to nature. I have taken something that is individually irreplaceable, and taken that away from it. Mushrooms can reproduce naturally, but still each mushroom will be unique.
This work is a statement that mankind cannot play god to nature. We must let it be god itself.
The triangle placement is reminiscent of the illuminati, commenting on the mysterious ways of mushrooms and how they live. A triangle is also the strongest shape, suggesting that nature is unstoppable and a force to be reckoned with.
Experimenting with different ways of displaying my work, with shelves and frames.
Concept: exploring the balance of nature and humans, and our intertwining connections.
My concept: preserving something that only has a short lifespan. Nature is extremely important and precious to me, and I wanted to reveal that through preserving these fascinating mushrooms in a beautiful medium so that they may live forever.
Following on from last term, I went back to bronze casting. For my previous casting, I made several different types of mushroom. I enjoyed learning the process and seeing what worked and what didn’t.
This time around, I intended to cast more of the same mushroom to make a complete set. I was going to buy some mushrooms from the supermarket as mushroom season was no longer happening. However, I was walking the day before my casting session and happened to come across a fallen tree that had several bracket mushrooms growing from it. I couldn’t believe my luck, and so proceeded to cut some of the mushrooms from the tree. I ended up casting five of these mushrooms in total, which I believe to be Southern Bracket fungi.
The outcome of the cast was successful and I am very pleased with their outcome. They retained their textures and even some parts of the tree they were growing on came out well in the casting process. I proceeded to finish them with a Dremel to bring out some of the beautiful warm golden colour of the bronze.
I wanted them to look beautiful and golden, yet still keep their natural textures, bumps and scars. All of these elements are part of nature and deserve to be seen and appreciated.
I am now experimenting with different ways of displaying these sculptures. This has led me to audio work, plaster casting and moving image. I am interested in bringing out the beauty and peace that I find in nature through this work, and I am trying many different ways to try and achieve this in a way I feel is most successful.
I have found the process of casting metal to be therapeutic due to the physical methods and time involved. I find that it relates to my practice well, offering the same levels patience and care. There is no quick way to do create work when casting with metal. It is a several day process, and one that I have quickly grown to adore.
For my second casting, I wanted to revisit the sculptures that I made last semester. I made several different types of mushroom out of bronze. There was a very experimental element this first time, as it was my first go at working with metal and I did not know how the mushrooms would turn out in the end. After completing it and feeling very happy with the outcome I wanted to create more; yet this time with one specific type of mushroom.
Below you can see the process, from the “tree” that I created during the wax work.
I then cut each of my mushrooms off of the tree using an angle grinder, and proceeded to grind down the bases to give a smooth outcome.
These are the mushrooms once cut from the tree, and with the bases smoothed down.
The one I am holding is actually from my first casting, and is a finished piece.
I then used a Dremel to give the mushrooms a more finished look. I wanted the mushrooms to still retain a lot of the textures colours that were revealed during the casting. I did not want them to be fully polished as I feel that this would give them an almost garish out come. However I still wanted them to have a golden, rich quality and by using a metal brush I was able to bring out the beautiful warm bronze that I feel gives them a twinkling, gold, precious appearance which exactly what I had wanted to achieve.
I still have more work to do before I feel that they are finished.
A long standing decision was how to display them. I had originally intended to inset a screw into the base, so that they could be screwed into a wall or other flat surface, imitating their natural positions. However, I feel like that would be placing them back to square one. As I have taken these mushrooms from their natural positions and I feel that to display them as such would be besides their purpose. I want these pieces to reveal the true beauty and fascination of nature and natural objects.
Considering this, I have noticed that people are very drawn to touching and holding them. They fit so pleasantly and ergonomically into peoples hands and this has led me to consider displaying them as an interactive piece. I will continue working along this thought trail when thinking of how I want these sculptures to be interpreted by their audience.
When considering mushrooms and nature in general:
I was walking along a beach collecting urchin shells, which are extremely delicate. I collected around 20, was very careful with them, and only two made it home in once piece.
The beach this day was particularly stormy, it was extremely windy and the sea was rough. Yet these little delicate spheres had weathered that storm, made it through the tides to come to this resting point on the shoreline.
This led me to consider the fragility of nature, how when we take it from its original space, it instantly becomes in danger. When I thought of the mushrooms I have been looking at, and how so delicately tiny they are that one touch could crush them entirely, or turn them to their liquid state.
I am now thinking of ways to mirror this fragility and impermanence within my work, by making some mushrooms from:
Could create the base for an interactive art piece. The addition of water/the effects of weather would shape this artwork and erode it as time goes on, could link back to the theme of women in society once again