I like the aesthetic of raw mild steel. I don’t like a perfectly finished sculpture, I tend to look for imperfections - and these features are what make it unique. I like the aesthetic of things that are used, worn and weathered - fingerprints, dents, scratches, old paint. In the car world they call it ‘patina’ and maybe it is as a result of this that I like this aesthetic. I source my raw sheets in advance and leave them to age - gather dust and gain surface rust.
There were a few times when I gave the sculptures a pigment [as was the case with ‘Ego’] but still, the steel shows from underneath. For this project, I wanted to experiment with new techniques. I wanted to apply the same pigments I was using in the painting counterparts - yes, in this project I have gone back to painting and I will tell you more about it in the future. I tried it out on a test piece and I am quite happy with the result.
In my last post, I briefly described my current project surrounding the notion of escapism. “What instigated this work?” you might ask. I think the urge to move to somewhere else in hope of finding fulfilment is a common thought. But where is this place? Will a change in location solve worries and problems? Let’s face it, this island is becoming hectic and claustrophobic. I am a person who looks for peace and quiet, places in solitude where I can pay more attention to the sounds of the earth. To be fair, this might be an impossibility in the material world. There can never be total silence.
But this is especially true on such a small island. There is always someone else in the vicinity breaking the ‘silence’ - a car in the distance, a plane taking off. Actually, people tend to be afraid of silence. For every excuse, people get utterly noisy; hitting the streets and honking their horns at celebrations, playing loud music, speaking loudly just in case third parties are interested in joining their conversation, and don’t get me started on the sounds of construction that fill each corner of every street.
However, to be truly at peace, it is not just about silence. You have to be free from thought; disconnected from the material world. I find it really hard to focus on the present and appreciating the current moment. My mind wanders off, thinking of what I shall do next, all the things that need to be done - chores, work etc. Thoughts and worries about the future that never fade or overthinking past situations, things I could have done better or looking at past experiences in nostalgia.
Sometimes, I think that moving away from city life - a lifestyle that has infected the island - could help me. The frustration of this noisy nation could fade away and be replaced by the calmness of the ocean, birdsong, trees swaying in the winds. Sounds that calm you down, freeing yourself from the burdens of everyday life. I am not speaking about meditation here; it is not a luxury I am referring to. This is a basic survival need. A necessity to keep sane.
Anyway, here are some more progress photos.
So this is my first attempt at a proper blog post. I am not used to sharing my thoughts with others through writing (and even less through speech!), so please excuse me. Actually it feels weird, it’s like opening the door to my workshop and letting strangers in - something I, as an introvert, usually avoid. The workshop is my form of escapism from reality - a place where I can be myself, free from social constrictions. Ironically, this is what the current sculpture I am working on deals with.
Have you ever felt the urge to escape when having to face certain situations in life? Procrastination might come to mind; putting things on hold, hoping they’ll disappear. But this kind of rejection could extend to more serious situations. Escapism is a subconscious rejection of reality, offering a detachment from the real world, a way of escaping or masking problems; a getaway to a parallel reality which everyone visits from time to time.
Through advances in technology, it has become easier to escape reality and similarly to other substances that offer this possibility, such as drugs and alcohol, it is addictive. However, as opposed to such substances, technology is an accepted norm that is easily accessible. A virtual fantasy is conjured through social media realms; a result of the ego’s urge to meet ideals imposed on by society. A deception that is nourished from birth and a never ending quest to fulfilment which is ultimately unattainable.
I don’t want to expose much of what I’m doing; I am always interested in letting people view the work holistically in person the first time without having prior expectations. So here is just a little glimpse of this work.
I am currently working on a series of sculptures for an upcoming exhibition in November. More details to follow. Meanwhile here is a sneak peek!