A Day in Dungeness

My day trip to Dungeness a couple of weeks ago with Alie. 
The main aim of the day was to collect clay at low tide from Littlestone beach a few miles down the road. As we had to wait until late afternoon early evening we had a good chunk of the afternoon in Dungeness.

During the hours spent at Dungeness we both began to search for treasures. Flint is easy to come by but the larger more abstract forms were still buried under water as the tide was fairly high.

Littlestone Beach: The concrete cube embedded within the sand tilting upwards immediately caught my attention. I felt as though I had stumbled across a piece of sculpture or land art. The water marks perfectly created a visual divide across the form. 

How long had it been there?
It was too heavy for the incoming tide to wash it away.
With that in mind it then becomes a piece of art. It may change with time, it may move slightly, it transforms from being visible and then disappearing again with each day. Perhaps someone will come along and take it a way one day.

I would have been that person had it not been for travelling by train or at least had the energy to carry it all the back home. 

I hope it remains there for a while for some one else to stumble across.

And finally here are the days findings! 
It's always quite interesting once you return home and take a closer look at what you have collected and in many cases different moods or mind sets can change your focus. 
For some reason I decided that I was going to hone in on black and white (with some grey thrown in there.) I'm particularly pleased with the beautiful white piece of bone. 

We were also successful with the clay…. new tests will be posted soon. 

Physical traces of making

This exploratory work has been sitting in my sketch book for a while now. I'm revisiting it as I think I've finally formulated my thinking enough to begin to develop it further.

I'm looking at the process of making and the importance of that direct contact or handling of a material through making. In this case I'm using three different clays. 

With a simple set of instructions such as: pushing, squeezing, folding, opening I've been interpreting and responding to these words through the movement and manipulation of the clay itself.

 The initial idea came from looking at Richard Serra's verb list. There is a rhythm to this list in much the same way there is a rhythm to many making processes. 

Each piece of clay begins in the shape of a ball. The idea is to work quickly without over thinking each instruction meaning you are left with an object that hasn't been overworked. All tools have been removed from this process. Every mark, trace and indentation has been made through my hands or contact with the work bench.

I will be posting more images as this begins to unfold. 

All images taken by Ben Winkley 2015

Lines, Levels, Layers Installed.

Lines. Levels, Layers opened on Friday 18th July 2014 at Siobhan Davies dance in South London.

The week leading to this date was dedicated to the installation one of the hottest weeks to date this year.

Day one was really taken up with painting and positioning the five shelves. There were to sit across four locations. 

 Location 1: The process wall 

The purpose of this collection of images text and objects was to contextulise the body of work it's positioned in the parlour a space for gathering working or to take a moment.  
It was the perfect place to allow the visitor to quietly read through the material before embarking on the journey throughout the building. 

Lines: Positioned in the reception area.

This took a fair amount of time to lay out as it had to be perfectly positioned. 18 small rectangular containers hold every soil sample collected from Southwark. The precision to this piece was so important to the over all aesthetic quality. Ideas of order and chaos run throughout the exhibition. This installation had to mirror it's title and the relevance of the grid had to be prominent and this is conveyed through the perfect linear quality 

Drawn plans for Layers

Erik was at hand to help me all week this was the first panel to be mounted onto the wall on the 1st floor as part of Layers this space spans approx 6.5 m long this piece of work took an entire day to hang. Despite having four different hanging plans the layout did change during the process slightly. There was more overlapping that happened towards the centre and as we moved to the edge on the far end the panels needed a little more breathing space. 

Levels: This was the final piece of work laid out on Thursday afternoon. 

Levels the second of the four installations and the purpose of this piece of work was to show  a clear break down of the materials, including a geological map a handling station with fired and unfired tests, small glass jars diluted with soil and water. Giving a clearer idea and understanding of colour before moving on to Layers 

Mounted on to the wall are three boxes the first one shows found objects that have been extracted from the ground and soil during the collection process.
A wonderful collection of items ranging from London brick, bones, old soda or salt glazed ceramic fragments, glass, rusty metal screws and nails, roof tiles, broken shards of ceramic pipes... 

The second box has been filled with soil collected from Peckham this has been left completely unprocessed and the third box is the same soil but sieved and watered down to a slip consistency. Over time the water residue will evaporate and this will begin to dry and possibly crack. 

The Handling Station gives the visitor the opportunity to handle the materials there's a combination of fired and unfired samples showing the transformation from clay soil to clay and also the dramatic change in colour. 
The bottles are filled with the same samples exhibited in Lines downstairs but have been diluted with water once again it shows the change of colour beginning to happen in preparation for Layers in the next room. 

Layers: Positioned on the 1st floor 

This is the first time you encounter the material that has been used as a drawing or mark making tool. Each piece of canvas has a distinct smell, texture, colour, tone to it. 
I think the only way to fully appreciate this particular piece of work is through experience. 

I wanted to keep this body of work tightly associated with the local area for many reasons. One it has lead to a more focussed enquiry but most importantly it was always about the entire Human Nature season at Siobhan Davies. A years worth of projects collaborations that have encompassed local groups such as the Mobile Garden in Elephant and Castle, the local schools planting for the living walls, the Mobile Meadow, walks in and around Southwark, Dance performances along the Southbank.

It also makes us look at what is below our feet, a material we all come into contact with every day but in most cases it's just ignored. 

Without soil nothing would grow. Gardens and green spaces would not exist. It's a simple acknowledgement to a material that provides us with such wonder.