My artwork is a mixed media sculpture made with wire, plaster, Styrofoam, PVA glue and salt which was based on an impossible sculpture we had to conceptualize. The impossible sculpture I imagined was of a reversed tap with the water running against gravity – flowing upwards into a sink. For this project, we had to create a part of this imaginary sculpture. When creating the sculpture, my focus was on the water as I felt it was the most interesting part of the impossible sculpture.
The main artist I initially researched was Ellen Urselmann who creates blown glass water droplets with glass and a tap to create a tap which seems almost frozen in time, but after participating in a plaster workshop, I really liked working with the material and decided to base at least part of my sculpture on this medium. I also felt it would create an interesting constrast to have my essential natural form of a droplet being made by something quite ‘artificial’ and related to man-made objects. From this I went on to research the works of Rachel Harrison and Cy Twombly, who have both create abstract sculptures with plaster. I was particularly influences by Twombly’s work as I loved that although his sculptures were abstract, he still managed to make the pieces which had an association with the natural world and the built environment, something which I wanted to evoke in my sculpture.
I decided to create 3 droplets of varying sizes. I made these by creating a structure using chicken wire which I filled with polystyrene to give it more solidity. After creating this structure, I then went on to covering the droplets with plaster bandages. Once dried I coated the drops with a few layers of plaster for them to dry.
Once dried they weren’t exactly perfect in their form, I still found that the results made them more interesting and ambiguous. Having always made very figurative sculptures in the past I thought this could be a good opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and try to make a sculpture more focused on the concept. From there I decided to cover one of the droplets in salt. I felt that the idea of a water droplet made from salt, which is soluble in water was something which I thought was quite intriguing and brought in an understated element of the impossibility of the sculpture as a natural object. I also feel like the salt brings back the natural element of the initial source of the water, and this is further emphasised by the surrounding salt which almost serves as a subtle plinth.
I also curated my sculpture to be next to other nature based pieces and near a wire tree which similarly is an unnatural representation of a natural object.