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Circular Sentimentality, 2022

Locally sourced unfired clay, found objects, wax, dried foliage, nail, hand-made paper from locally gathered fallen leaves, ink.

Through the collection and archiving of material, elements have undergone a process of permanence by being encased in wax. This element was a wreath found discarded outside a family home after Christmas. It holds ephemeral sentimentality of childhood and love. 

This sculpture began with my journeys through Kingston, I came across a wreath that had been thrown out with the Christmas tree. This wreath had been hand-made, most likely by the family who lived at that house. The painstaking time and effort that had gone into the wreath and the choice to use only natural material and live plants, meant that they knew that after a certain period the wreath would wither and die. And even with this acknowledgement, they continued to put time and energy into its creation. Its existence represents memory, a memory of occasion, of love.

From here, I picked it up and used it within my other works but noticed that it began to fall apart, leaves broke off and a sour smell began to fumigate. I wanted to preserve it- preserve its memory and so I decided to encase it in wax. In my mind, wax symbolised home comforts and sentimentality. You light a candle to commemorate both the living and the dead, and so it seemed fitting to surround this wreath in a thick layer of wax- holding its memory in place. 

 

In the lower image I set the wax sculpture with other objects made within my work. A doily with small ceramic objects that had been squeezed in my hand- taking the shape of the negative space within my fist- these objects lay in a pile on top. There was also a mound of unfired clay that had been built up in a vase-like form, it stood attached to the floor, drying in the open air- changing its form as it reacted. Above all of this was a small piece of handmade paper made from the fallen autumn leaves, it also had ink prints of my hand, abstracted and organic, as though an outline of a rock.